If you visit Charleston, South Carolina's Old Slave Market or drive north from Charleston along the old coastal highway from Mt. Pleasant to Awendaw and McClellanville to Georgetown, you will see the primitive roadside stands of African American descendants of slaves who still gather the sweet grass and palm that grow along the tidal plain. They strip and dry the sweet grass and then painstakingly hand weave wonderful baskets characterized by their dual colors and centuries-old designs. Each basket is a work of art, brought to the colonies by African slaves who wove these for their masters' use. The Gullah culture is a treasure of American folk art, and to own a piece is to own part of southern history. While there are many efforts to keep basket making alive, the number of weavers is declining. While we find this to be very sad, it has also driven the prices of these baskets sky high, so they are a good investment as well as a work of art.
This wonderful very old bold measures a large 6 3/8" high and has a top diameter of 14 1/2". New, these baskets retail for hundreds of dollars, but this one is priced quite reasonably and has taken on the patina of age, graceful and handsome. It's in excellent vintage condition with no breaks to the binding, some bruising to the horizontal grass but nothing major and structurally sound. It will make a fine addition to any table and add a decorator touch to any room. Beautiful.
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