Posted 4 years ago
I got this basket at the end of 2015, it is a basket made by a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe. I think it was made around 1890 to 1925, based on the style and design used for this basket. This basket was made using wood from the Brown Ash tree, and Sweet Grass that was braided and also lashed around the rim of the top and lower halves.
I love this design, the larger "ribbon" splints around the side and then the tiny 1/32nd splints that are woven along with tiny braids of Sweet Grass to make this basket look really fancy.
This basket is 7 inches in diameter and almost 3 inches in height. It's lower half has bentwood going around the rim, and along with the design that is what gives me an approximate time as to when this was made. However, I am placing a larger space of time with this basket just to be on the safe side. It is not every day that you find a treasure that looks like it could have been made in the last 25-50 years, when in actuality it was made much earlier.
The Sweet Grass is totally dried out on this basket, which goes to it's age but you can usually smell it no matter how old they are. There is not even a whiff of smell left in the Sweet Grass here and this is only the 3rd basket I have in my collection, where the grass is totally dried out and odorless. I have over 100 baskets now all over my apartment and when you walk in you get hit with the smell (I LOVE IT) but not this one.
The colors on this have polychromed beautifully, and the colors on the outside of this basket are still showing after all these years. The inside coloring is much more vibrant of course, but the outside still shows all the colors in pinks, greens, and yellows. The sides of the basket have the thicker "ribbon" splints going around it and also the braided sweet grass is snaked in and out of the splints, a design that again gives me an approximate date as to when this was made. The wider splint looks like ribbon going in and out all around, and then again using a different weave that gives the great illusion of green/pink on the side.
Every time I find such a great example of artistry in the early years of Wabanaki basket making, it is a major win for me. Now, if I had the provenance that goes with this basket, I would have won the trifecta in Native American basketry :)
I am glad to have this in my collection now, enjoy the pics :)