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Beautiful Vintage Sweetgrass X design Basket


This larger vintage drum basket (round w/straight sides) is so lovely. It is Passamaquoddy and has a beautiful design of wide alternating weaver splints (lovely rose color alternating with natural ash color now turned golden). Over these wide splints are woven sweetgrass braids in an overlaid X pattern. These sweetgrass braids are tightly and finely braided. This pattern is repeated on the lid over 1 rose colored splint on the lid's overhang.

This is 8.5" in diameter and 4.25" high. There is a very thick sweetgrass braid which is used to make the handle on the lid. This is 1" wide and 7" long. It has "bow"ties on either end.

Made mostly of brown ash splints, the very interior center of the lid has plain tidal sweetgrass used as weavers, then a few woven rows of narrow rose dyed splints with 4 rows of finely, tightly braided tidal sweetgrass weavers .... exterior part of lid all woven with narrow ash splints.

On the bottom is what I think was the original price written in pencil, $3.00. This is one reason I believe this basket was made around 1950 (give or take 10 years.) Compare this to prices of current Passamaquoddy baskets of this size and quality ... $300 - over $1000. The handle is a type of handle used by the late Mary Mitchel Gabriel 1908-2008. Mary won the NEA's Heritage Fellowship award in 1994. She used sweetgrass X's as decorative elements on some of her baskets, as did another Passamaquoddy basketmaker and NEA Heritage Fellowship award winner, Clara Keezer. I am uncertain of the maker of this wonderful basket, but it is very well done and likely made by Mary Mitchell Gabriel, Clara Keezer or one of Mary's direct descendants, Sylvia Gabriel or Clare Gabriel (Mary had another daughter who was I think too young to have made this basket as were Clara Keezer's basketmaking sons.) -

This basket is very near perfect --- the finely braided sweetgrass making the X's on the sides of the lid has 1 section missing 1/2 of about 2 X's worth out of 20 X's. Hard to find even if you really look. Shown in the 4th photo in slideshow.

Vintage Passamaquoddy Sweetgrass X basket
Vintage Passamaquoddy Sweetgrass X basket  - LID
Weight: 12 oz