Saturday, September 11, 2010

Early Fancy Baskets....Decorations

This week, I will touch on some examples of how these early baskets were decorated. I wish you all could come and see them in person, it is hard to convey how delicate they are in pictures! I have here at the Museum baskets that are both painted and unpainted, beaded and embroidered, but as decoration goes, I also include the weave in this area as well.

Starting plainly, with the unpainted versions, I have found them to be actually in the minority. Most unpainted types are the fancy open weaves, to which there really is no place on the basket 'to' paint, but some can be found of a solid tight weave, that have been left unpainted

Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them! The really intricately woven types are by far the most delicate, as you can see in this close up I have one example, my beloved 'chopped' basket, that is nearly identical to the oblong basket in the 9 o'clock position in the group photo above, that was broken long ago. All that remains is the bottom, and top ring with the lid and 2 handles. So highly prized it was, that instead of throwing it into the fire, the lid was stitched onto the base, making for a rather peculiar looking flat basket! The fact that these baskets were highly prized in their day, is a definite contributing factor to their existence to modern times, having been put up carefully out of harms way

Several of the unpainted types also utilize two different shades of natural splint in the weave, to make a pattern within a pattern.
I have a scant precious few that still retain their once bright wool embroidery.... these have a distinct open work grid area that is perfect for counted embroidery

The daguerreotype below shows a wonderful embroidered sewing basket. It is easy to tell it is embroidered and not painted, as the wool back side of the embroidery can be seen inside the basket

This charming sweetness is holding an embroidered flower basket nearly identical to my round one above (mine missing the single swing handle it had originally)

This rare rectangular shape, in really rough condition, but still has its awesome bead work band around the center, and tho the rim has breakage in areas, still retains both its swing handles

The majority of these I have found to be painted

Of the painted types, the design differs along with the different shapes~ certain similarities I have found are very interesting~ as in, the pear shape purses most have their rims & lids decorated in a dot pattern, as seen below

Of the color palette, there are two distinct groups~ those mainly designed with an orangey red and indigo blue flower scheme.....

and then those with a brighter color palette of red, pink, baby blue and bright grass greens.....

The orange/blue color grouping have also a different flower shape in the painting, whereas the second category ones tend to be decorated with the very folky and Germanesque Rosemalled buds~ the body of the flowers being shaped by c strokes in pink or red, then a couple in white, with simple black dot for the stamens.

The daguerreotype below shows a little girl proudly holding her basket purse front and center, with this same style floral paint

And of coarse, the lids are just as prettily painted as the sides

This next wonderful basket is very stylistic, and quite unique. ...

Not only is the basket woven with solid sides and no open work band, but the leaves of the single rosebud are very stylish and folky. The same design is on both sides.

I would think that a person would be able to go to the basket maker and order a particular design, as I think is the case with this fabulous basket with a Pineapple. Perhaps it was a welcoming gift?

I will leave you with a favorite of mine, already shared on the blog here,

Next week I will touch on the different sizes and shapes, as well as the periods in time to which these were produced


Crowsnest Pass Primitive Folk Art said...

Those baskets are just the museum your own personal creation/collection? Thanks for sharing...interesting basketry history I had no knowledge of before.

Rachael Kinnison said...

Thanks for stopping by Susan~ glad you enjoyed the post. To answer, yes, the Museum is my private collection, & my passion!
xoxxoxo rachael

Tina Eudora said...

Beautiful baskets and I also did not know very much about the history of baskets and all the different styles. I also just adored the photos of those 2 little girls with their baskets. I look forward to the next installment...
Have a sweet Sunday!
Tina xo

Rachael Kinnison said...

Thankyou Tina~ You will LOVE next weeks post, I will be illustrating each shape with some of my baskets, and plenty of early photographs :)

xoxoxox rachael