An early 20th century splint fishing creel, in original red paint and decorated with a black fish (either free-hand or stenciled) on the front. It has a shaped body, including curvature on the back to allow it to fit against the fisherman’s hip. There is no lid (it probably had a solid wooden lid), and although the original leather hinges are still there, there is no strap or way to attach it to the belt (note that the bailing twine was added so the basket could be displayed). Overall measurements are 11 ½” wide x 5” deep x 6 ½” high.
The basket is in used, but not abused condition. The paint shows evidence of wear with the sides and back either never having been painted or having most of the paint worn away. The basket is solid, but there are scatted broken splints and some breaks to the top edge wraps. And as mentioned, the lid is gone. The leaping fish decoration is quite funky. This basket was found in Western Michigan over 30 years ago and has been hanging in our collection ever since.
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