American Native Arts and Antiques

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Christmas Tree - Basket


A cheerful bright Christmas tree basket by Passamaquoddy basketmaker, Debbie Nicholas. This charming little tree is adorned with bright pink and lovely lavender garlands and has a gorgeous star of sweetgrass and ash atop it. The branches are made of "porcupine" curls, sometimes called "point" curls - and other times called simply "twists". There are 178 porcupine curls on this tree! The curls are largest on the bottom, gradually becoming quite small at the very top.

This tree is 5.25" to top of tree, star is .75" in diameter making this tree 6" total height. Bottom diameter is 2.75" (curls/branches are at bottom 1/2" long so total diameter at bottom is 3.75") and top diameter is about 1".

Made of brown ash, the traditional material of Maine and Eastern Canadian basketmakers, this has plain tidal sweetgrass wrapping the rim of the basket bottom and intertwined into the star at the top.

Debbie is the niece and apprentice of the much honored Clara Neptune Keezer (1930-2016), Passamaquoddy basket maker who was a winner of a NEA 2002 Heritage Fellowship award for her basketry work. Debbie learned basketry from her Aunt Clara and incorporates many of Clara's signature styles into her work. But Debbie is developing a style of her own and now adds distinctive personal touches to many of her baskets. During Clara Keezer's later years, Debbie was an invaluable help to her aunt - including transporting and staying with Clara at many basketmaker sales, shows and events.

Debbie's Aunt Clara Keezer made basketery Christmas trees - some this size, some larger and some smaller. Clara's ash ribbon garlands were straight and here - Debbies are curled. Clara's "star" atop her trees was a ball of ash splints, sometimes dyed - other's natural. Clara's "branches" made of porcupine curls were larger, and fewer comparatively - You can read more about Clara Neptune Keezer in the "bios" section of this website - as well as an article called "Honoring Clara Keezer" in the "news" section.

Christmas Tree Basket
Christmas Tree Basket - Star
Christmas Tree Basket - signature
Christmas Tree Basket - dark background
Weight: 8 oz