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Hoop Handle Victorian Wabanaki basket c/1880-1900


This smaller round straight sided basket has large hoop handles and is lined with tan silk material hand has light blue silk ribbon bows at handle tops.

It is 3.75" in diameter and 3.5" tall. The handles are 3" in diameter.

Hoop handles were somewhat common on Victorian era Wabanaki "fancy" baskets such as this, but are uncommon on current Wabanaki works. More delicate baskets that have decorative elements, like hoop handles and "curls" such as this were generally made for ladies' use. Some sewing baskets and baskets for women's combs, jewelry etc were made of thinner more delicate ash splints. Utilitarian baskets such as pack baskets and bushel baskets for potatoes and apples are made for rough usage of thicker splints. The silk lining on this is not common, tho I have seen similar linings in sewing baskets. It was likely made to be sold or traded for use on a lady's dressing table.

The curls are large and are slanted opposite directions, 2 rows. Larger curls were generally made by MicMac (Mi'kmaq is the Canadian spelling) but in this era it may have been made by a basketmaker of any of the 5 Wabanaki tribes (those residing in Vermont, Maine, Eastern Canada - The Abenaki, Maliseet, MicMac, Passamaquoddy & Penobscot)

It is made of brown ash splints, the traditional Wabanaki basketry material. There is tidal sweetgrass covering the rim of the basket and the entirety of the thin hoops. The sweetgrass is held in place with a narrow ash splint.

This is in excellent condition - with the silk ribbons and lining somewhat faded as one would expect on a 100-140 year old piece.

Sm Victorian Hoop Handle Basket
Sm Victorian Hoop Handle Basket - Hoops Up
Sm Victorian Hoop Handle Basket - Bottom
Sm Victorian Hoop Handle Basket - dime
Weight: 12 oz