Large-ish and Very Fine Late 19th C. Nootka/Makah Native American Lidded Basket

Regular price $135.00

I will never get over my love of Nootka/Makah Native baskets from the Pacific Northwest Coast, considered some of the world's finest baskets, and this is an old one, late 19th century, dated based on materials used (exclusively bear grass and cedar bark, with no raffia) and the manner of the rim and plaiting of the underside. The weave on this one is very fine and tight, and though the brightness of the original color has faded (as evident from looking at the interior), I prefer the muted colors, and the patina here is gorgeous. This basket is large as far as Nootka/Makah baskets go, and the structural condition of the basket is excellent.

The bear grass and cedar bark used are materials indigenous to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and such baskets were/are only produced when plants are in the right stage of maturation, demanding weavers have a deep understanding of the plants’ cycles. When harvested correctly, the thin yet durable quality of bear grass allows for a minute arrangement of warp and weft--as evident! These meticulous techniques are central to the unique aesthetic of these baskets, which attracted European patrons in the 1850s, with a small cottage industry at Neah Bay developing at that time. 

5 7/8 d x 3 1/8” t and in very good antique condition, with colors muted as noted and evident, with the un-dyed grass a beautiful warm honey color. In very good structural condition, with the only loss a few minor splits to the cedar wrapping the rim--very minor and not visible with lid on. Next to no slumping. Very lovely.