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Native American Star Handkerchief Basket

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Posted 5 years ago


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I just got this recently. This style of basket was popular in the 1880's - 1920's and was called a "Victorian Star Handkerchief Basket". This is a most unusual basket form and quite difficult to make. It is 8 inches square by 1.75 inches high from bottom to top of lid. It has a round lid to cover the diamond shaped opening and it is 6.75 inches in diameter, the ones made later (1920+) have a square lid that was turned to cover the diamond shaped opening. The handkerchief I have inside of the basket was made by my great grandmother. I have kept the handkerchief in a plastic sleeve so it does not get dirty, but took it out to take it's picture with this beautiful basket.

The wrapped ring closures are there on both the lid and one end of the basket, one goes inside the other to keep the basket closed. This is made on a foundation of blue/green dyed brown ash wood, traditional basketry material of Maine and Eastern Canadian Indian basket makers. It has plain tidal sweet grass used at the center start of the basket lid as well as binding the rim of the lid and the basket. Tightly braided sweet grass makes up most of the weavers on the top of the basket with the green dyed ash used as weavers on bottom.

This is a beauty, enjoy the pics. :)


  1. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Thanks to PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, mustangtony and birdie for the "Love" :)
  2. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
    i love your sweetgrass baskets! i kind of grew up w/ these - being french canadian with some micmac in me. the women in my family always took really good care of the old baskets like these and we always knew there was something special about them. i always just thought it was because we had ancestors who made them.
  3. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Thank you for the "Love", ho2cultcha :)

    I appreciate your comment, and I also love Sweet Grass. It smells so good and I love coming home and opening the door, walking in and smelling the baskets before I can see them. Puts a smile on my face every time. I am proud to pick up these baskets for my collection, the artistry is amazing and it is good to see the number of basket weavers rising again. It would truly be a shame if the art of basket making was lost. There IS something very special about Sweet Grass and to have it made into a basket is doubly special. Thanks again!
  4. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
    i grow sweetgrass and even sell it in my nursery. the smell is intoxicating. i always tell people to pick a blade and stick in their pocket. after an hour or so, it smells so wonderful! but not so much at first.
  5. inky inky, 5 years ago
    I have just loved reading this post and the both of you chatting about Sweet Grass and what it means to you both, it's wonderful!...I want to rush out and buy some Sweet Grass...:-)
  6. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the "Love" inky :) I just bought some more myself, a braid and a couple small bundles to smudge my apartment with.
  7. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Thanks bratjdd for the "Love" :)

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