Early 20th Century Native American Reptile or Lizard Effigy Basket with hinged cover

Woven basket with lid made from either corn husks or yucca leaves (not positive which, see all photos). The method of construction is coiled with slightly angled vertical binding pieces interwoven and used to stitch the coils together and hold them tightly (please see all photos and use the photos to form your own opinion on this basket). The lid is hinged and the feet and claws have a wire core over which wet leaves were tightly wrapped. The head also has some wire used to form its features and the eyes are made of brown nuts, possibly pinyon nuts but that is just a guess. The coils are tight and there are no major breaks or losses (see full Condition notes below). The four legs and head have shanks that continue through the wall to the inside of the basket and these shanks are visible when the lid is opened.

This animal effigy never was given a tail based on the construction of its legs and head (i.e., there is no space or gap for a protruding tail shank on either the inside or outside). What Native American tribe member may have produced this basket is not known. The iron wire forming the toes as well as the woven leaves all exhibit aging and suggest that this basket may be from turn of the last century up to the 1930s, and possibly even older. Again, please review all the photos and close-up views. Interestingly, the photos also picked up some details that were not as visible until the photos were studied. Specifically, this basket was originally decorated with red and black pigment, most of which has either dulled or worn off over the decades. The best preserved painted areas are on the inside of the basket and cover (both bottom inside and the underside of the cover, see last photo which provides a close-up of the inside of the basket). In addition, the paint on the underside or belly is also better preserved (see third photo from the last one), but none of these areas are complete. The original painted motifs may have been spiral-like designs within a dashed outer border or frame. This interpretation is still very tentative and so please review all the photos and then form your own judgment. And if any viewer wishes to provide further insight, then please drop me an email and let me know your thoughts - thanks, Doc.

Finally, a several Native America tribal groups that used corn husks among other materials for making baskets include Navajo (more consistent with the lizard), Iroquois (better if this was a turtle), as well as other tribes. Native America tribal groups that used yucca for making baskets include Paiute, as well as Papago who are also known for lidded baskets. As mentioned above, the age of this basket is not positively known, however, it is at least 60 years old and could be over 100 years old. The only provenance that comes with it is that it was once allegedly owned by a professor at the University of Texas according to the dealer that I purchased it from a several years back (the dealer said that it came from the estate of the late Frank Wright; and I have had no luck finding any more info on him). So if you are looking for a nice vintage or older Native American effigy basket probably from the southwestern US, then make sure you seriously consider this one while it is still available. And as always, this basket also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).

SIZE: This basket measures a little over 10 inches long (maximum dimension), stands 3 5/8 inches tall and measures about 6 inches from side to side. It weighs just about 3/4 lbs and is a nice size for displaying on a shelf, table, counter or mantle and will certainly capture attention in most any setting.

CONDITION: This effigy basket is in very good condition with no loose coils, just two partially damaged stitches (three coils above the left front foot, and higher up on the rim of the cover). The lid top and the side coils have a covering of dust that could be cleaned using damp Q-tips and several hours of effort. The red and black pigment has faded or has worn-off some areas (see all photos). The bottom or underside of the basket has a slight sheen that suggests that the basket may have been varnished at one time, but years of cleaning has removed most of this on the top and sides. All coils and stitching are tight and the hinge on the cover is flexible and working. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this basket for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).

SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $12.70 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $2 to $4 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 27 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.

RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have not had any claims for damage or loss in over six years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.

PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.

Item ID: RL583.a1323

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Docs Antiques

Doc Moir, Frisco, TX   

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