This purse is a smaller version of the basket that Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy won first place in Division B: Non-Southwest Basketry in the twined/wicker category at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market, August 2017. It was Gabriel's second time attending this market, he won an honorable mention ribbon in his first year, 2016.
This basket is a smaller form of a traditional Passamaquoddy pack basket with a bulge that was designed to fit against the bulging hull of a canoe.
Made of brown ash splints, traditional basketry material of NE Indian basketmakers, this has a thick, high quality leather lid, which overhangs the rim of the basket. It also has a long adjustable leather strap. Like the better traditional pack baskets this has a sturdier wood frame of thicker ash on the bottom so the bottom ash splints are protected and it balances well when set down on a flat surface.
It's leather shoulder strap is easily removable with brass snaps and has a nice brass closure. Gabriel has signed and dated this on the bottom - and has stamped his maker's mark, initials GF on the front leather above the closure and on the elegant back leather piece which is tied on at upper back holding the lid onto the basket.
A strip of leather runs up the front of the purse, showing through pop out X curls of ash. These pop-out X's have been used by Gabriel's grandfather and other basketmakers in his family - They enclose the top part of the leather strap on either side there are 3 stripes of the pop out X's on the bottom 1/2 of both basket sides. Distinctive and lovely. Gabriel has also used for decorative purpose, some some ash splints of slightly darker/redder brown at the top of the basket.
This purse basket is 9 1/4" high x 6 1/2" across x 4" at deepest.
Gabriel Frey says he is twelfth generation Passamaquoddy basketmaker. His mother, Gal Frey makes fancy baskets, his grandfather, Frederick Moore, Jr made utilitarian baskets like pack baskets and potato baskets. Gabriel's brother Jeremy Frey has won many honors for his basketry which transcends into art. Gabriel's work as seen here takes a bit from all of this relatives and with the leather work, he has added his own distinctive touch.