Unusual and Wonderful Hybrid: 1922 Maine Native Fancy Curl Basket Over Carved Barrel with Drawer

Regular price $395.00

My most special find of the week, I think--a singular thing I've never quite seen the likes of, which I love for the fineness of the basketry, and for the folkiness of the the carving, and very much for the combination of the two in one object: a sort of Native American basket/tramp art box hybrid. I am confident it is either Mi'kmaq (I think most likely) or Passamaquoddy, both indigenous to Maine, with very fine "porcupine curl" pattern executed in ash splint characterizing the "fancy baskets" of both cultures. In this unusual case the basketry was executed over a carved wooden barrel form (which makes it heavy), giving it its shape and allowing for the carving out of a drawer and the carving of the year 1922 into the face of it. The drawer is lined in green velvet, and the wood painted a now much mellowed gold. Plus what looks to be red and yellow silk ribbon woven through though the warp of the splint to create colorful bands, with the splint itself painted gold in those areas, too.

Altogether a beautifully unexpected object, at least to me, which feels relational to early Mi'kmaq quill decorated boxes (so amazing, one pictured) in terms of how the basketry covers the wood. I also really love the conversation it has with chip-carved cigar box wood tramp art pieces, as if to say "I'll do you one better. " And I would say it does! 

6" tall x approx 5 1/2" widest diameter. 4" diameter at top and bottom. It looks as if some old loss likely to the end of the carved drawer pull, but I'm not entirely certain. No loss to the basketry at all, and not fragile, just a wonderful patina from 100+ years of life.