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Maker(s):Deerfield Basket Makers (attributed)
Culture:American
Title:basket
Date Made:1900-1910
Type:Household Accessory
Materials:palm leaf
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Deerfield
Measurements:overall: 2 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.; 6.985 cm
Accession Number:  HD 68.181A
Credit Line:Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Louella Nims
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Description:
Round basket with lid made of palm leaf, which is attributed to the Deerfield Basket Makers. The Deerfield Basket Makers' palm leaf baskets generally feature neat, flat, tightly-woven surfaces constructed of undyed materials. In 1899, Emma Lewis Coleman (1853-1942) organized a braiding bee in the Frary House ballroom for the purpose of teaching her neighbors how to make palm leaf baskets. The craft had its origins in early 19th-century New England when many women and girls braided Cuban palm leaf for the production of hats. This household industry proved significant for the economy of Franklin County, Massachusetts. A few of the attendees, such as Eleanor B. Stebbins (1875-1955) who had been "set at...regular 'stents' at braiding palm leaf after school," remembered earlier palm leaf basket weaving skills; others tried the craft for the first time. Soon, the Deerfield Basket Makers expanded their choice of materials, and began fashioning a great variety of baskets from reeds, willow withes and Georgia pine needles. By 1906, there were between 50 and 75 Deerfield Basket Makers. The group contributed over 1,000 baskets to Deerfield's summer exhibition in 1908.

Label Text:
Basket Attributed to Deerfield Basket Makers Deerfield, Massachusetts, 1900-1910 Palm leaf Bequest of Mrs. Louella Nims, 1968.181a

In 1899, Emma Lewis Coleman (1853-1942) organized a braiding bee in the Frary House ballroom for the purpose of teaching her neighbors how to make palm leaf baskets. This craft had its origins in early 19th-century New England when many women and girls braided Cuban palm leaf for the production of hats. This household industry proved significant for the economy of Franklin County, Massachusetts. The Deerfield Basket Makers' palm leaf baskets generally feature neat, flat, tightly-woven surfaces constructed of undyed materials.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+68.181A

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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