Here is one terrific splint basket with a fixed, carved hardwood bent handle. We thought at first look that it was a buttocks basket, but once we picked it up, we realized it is a "melon" shape basket.
SIZE is approximately 10-1/2 inches across over the top rims; about 5 inches from the top of the rim to the table top beneath the bsket; and approximately 9 inches from the table top to the highest point of the handle. Over time, it has aged so it is no longer perfectly round, and it sits just a bit off to the side, rather than straight up and down on the table -- very much individualistic and lots of character, we think.
We are not wood (or basket) experts and believe the splints are red oak or ash, but are not positive. They have deepened with age to an appealing, rich chestnut brown -- and I just love the fragrance !
We tried to show in our pictures how this basket was made: Like a buttocks basket, large flat strips form ribs going the same direction of the handle that are widest in the bottom center, tapering on both ends as they reach the handle bases. The handle itself is one long piece, carved so it is about 1/8 inch thick over the basket and shaved away much thinner as it forms a base for the weaving below. Thin weaver strips travel all the way across and up and over the rim on each side. The actual rim piece under the weaving is approximately 1/2 inch wide and 1/8 inch thick, secured firmly to the handle bases.
CONDITION: Superb - we could not find any holes, or any breaks. The handle carving is wonderfully "amateurish" and not completely even. All the ends of the weaver pieces are hidden underneath. There are NO loose or broken pieces and no splintering or rough edges on any of the wood. The color is gorgeous.
The only "issue" we can find is there are several tiny spatters of paint here and there (mostly inside on the bottom, see our NEXT TO LAST picture please).
IMPORTANT - see our last two pictures please: one handle end does show inside (our picture with the YELLOW X). The pointed tip is anchored under a weaver strip; there is a blackish stain where an incredibly tiny brad has been nailed through the underlying handle strip beneath. This shows blackish on the bottom of the basket. It is not terribly noticeable but it "is there."
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