Friday, September 9, 2011

Artifact

This basket sat on a cedar chest in my grandparents' bedroom for over fifty years and I never thought of asking where it came from and what it was used for.
It's woven of very thin materials -- ash splits, perhaps, or maybe river cane?

The lid is attached.

The basket is far too fragile to use for heavy things --- what do you think its use was?

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27 comments:

Ms. A said...

Lunch basket?

dannie said...

My Grandmother had one similar that she kept her crochet work in.

Thérèse said...

A mending basket perhaps...
A valuable keepsake.

Reader Wil said...

The first thing that came up in mind was: knitting work. It's a beautiful piece of work!

Martin said...

I'm no expert, but perhaps a sewing basket?

Pat in east TN said...

I have to go along with a knitting or sewing basket. It's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

The thought that first popped into my head was also sewing basket. I wonder if anyone at the Folk Art Center could help you find more details if you are interested?
It's wonderful to have things that have been passed down through the family, isn't it? Talismen from long ago, linking us to our forebears....
Deana the Queena

Marta McDowell said...

My great aunt Mary had a similar design that was her sewing basket.

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

Vicki, you have so many treasures from your Grandmother, how priceless!

KarenB said...

I would agree with the others that thought sewing/knitting/crochet or possibly quilting basket.

Sally said...

At first sight, my thought, too, was sewing or knitting basket. What a treasure!

Mama-Bug said...

What a priceless treasure Vicki. I'm thinking a sewing basket.

Vicki Lane said...

While it could be used for a mending/sewing/knitting/crocheting basket, I think its original use was something else -- something that would have been related to housekeeping in a rural setting in earlier centuries.

(Yes, I think I know what it is but I'm keen to see if anyone else does.)

Brian Miller said...

hmm...i like to think it was given asa gift by a remote tribe he stumbled upon...but that is just me...smiles.

Louise said...

Sewing basket does seem the most logical thing. Don't you have times like that, when you just wish that you could ask your parents, or your grandparents about family, and things that have been in the family for a long time? I know that I do. I'm always stopping and wondering why I never asked, when they were there to answer.

Deanna said...

My immediate thought was a sewing basket. I've never seen one with the handle woven through the lid. It is beautiful!

Tammy said...

Well, it looks like a pie might fit right in there and be ready to tote off to a potluck supper. Of course if it was a heavy pie the basket wouldn't hold up well. Hmmm....I'll be curious to know what you think it's use was for. I love old baskets.
Tammy

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

i am really shocked when i saw things like that on a shop here in canada. very expensive.

back home in the philippines, as young as 11yo (grade 5), we are already doing those in our home economics as projects.

that basket is nice. there are some made of plastic straw, bamboo, rattan and many others...

nice one...

JJRod'z

NCmountainwoman said...

I must admit I haven't a clue. But truth be told, it is such a beautiful work of art it doesn't really need to serve another useful purpose.

That said, I'm looking forward to finding out how it was used.

jennyfreckles said...

I've never seen a basket with a lid like that. The lid must be a clue. It's beautifully made and looks quite light. Eggs?

Anonymous said...

Either eggs or harvested veggies from the garden maybe?

Lynne in GA

Kath said...

Whatever its original use, today it is filled with appreciation for the artistry and imagination due to Vicki's question.

JudyB said...

Could it have been used for keeping feathers? The lid would have been attached on both sides and slid up and down the handle to keep the feathers from escaping.

Susan M. Bell said...

For some reason my first thought was egg gathering. But I wonder, since those buggers can get pretty heavy when you get a bunch of them. Lunch basket as Ms. A said maybe. Or a rag basket, keeping dusting rags or such in.

Vicki Lane said...

Judy B has got it -- or at least, that's what I think.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Vicki: Wonders if it is a North American native basket woven by some tribe in your area. Then it would be worth a fortune! Recalling the price of a Navajo rug on Antique Roadshow. There must be a site to find this out!http://www.nativetech.org/basketry/sweetindex.html

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- I and my old friends have always referred to these types of baskets as feather baskets. My great Aunt Marie told me they would pluck the feathers from the goose's breast (while it was alive), as they were the softest, and put them in the basket -- the lid being so the feathers would not blow away as one was plucking. Beautiful basket and a wonderful object for you from the past. -- barbara