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Antique Native American Basket Purse Curly Ash Straw Passamaquoddy Penobscot


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

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This is a wonderful handled basket made in the form of a purse, most likely by a Native American circa 1900.  The piece is made of curly ash splint, and lined in purple silk.  Especially of note are the fine curls along the top edge and the bottom edge.  The underside is signed by either the maker or original owner, who might have been the same person, on the underside - it reads “Olive Lettie”, although it is possible that it reads Clive Lettie.  It was made by a member of, most likely, an East Coast Native American Indian tribe, perhaps Passamaquoddy or Penobscot, whose territory included Maine and the Atlantic provinces of Canada or even perhaps Micmac.  The basket measures 9 1/2” by 3” across the top and 6 1/2” in height exclusive of the handles, 10” including the handles.  It is in very good condition with the exception of some of the fine curling missing at the narrow ends of the top, to be expected for a piece of this age. Otherwise, this purse has been well preserved and is a rather unique and beautiful example.  This is a lovely display piece - many hours of work went into making this wonderful example of Native American Indian handwork!