American Native Arts and Antiques

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Victorian Basket with Flowers (Replica)


This intricate and beautiful basket is a replica of a basket from the Shaker Museum in Sabbath Day Lake, Maine. The original was made by a Wabanaki Indian basketmaker in the late 1800's. Most likely made by a Penobscot or Passamaquoddy given the intricacy of the work. (Wabanaki, a confederacy of 5 tribes living in what is now Vermont, Maine and Eastern Canada; The Abenaki, Maliseet, MicMac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot).

Pam Cunningham, Penobscot made the replica basket. the last photo is of the antique basket. Pam is a master basketmaker who makes many baskets of her own designs, but has made some amazing replicas of earlier works.

Here the basket has 2 rows of point curls and there are 2 similar rows on the lid. These curls sometimes called "porcupine" curls or simply "twists". The curls have been made so the lower row points downward and the upper row points upward. The very top of the lid has a row of curls that point outward. The lid is shaped like a bell and at the top, there are 4 flowers of ash splint that have been dyed purple and green. There is an elaborate "ribbon candy" handle on the top of the lid. Ribbon candy is a hard candy that was invented in Ireland in the 1850's and was very popular in the Victorian era. It is available now at the Christmas holidays. Where the lid sets on the basket bottom there are small upright loops of finely braided tidal sweetgrass.

This is 8.5" total height - the bottom of the basket is 4" high to the top of the tidal sweetgrass loops. The bottom is tapered - it is 5" in diameter at the top and 3.5" in diameter at the bottom The lid/top of the basket is a beautiful bell shape - it is 3.5" high to top of the lid. The ribbon candy handle is 2" in diameter ... so total height of the basket is 8.5". The flowers are 2" in diameter, deep purple outer petals have green petals behind them. The flowers have centers of a few weavers of tidal sweetgrass.

The last photo is of the Victorian basket that Pam has replicated - but Pam's basket has, in my opinion, a more aesthetically pleasing shape - less squat - and with the beautiful bell shape to the lid

Victorian Basket Replica
Victorian Basket Replica - Flower
Victorian Basket Replica - Open
Victorian Flower Basket - Original
Weight: 12 oz