Nantucket Lightship Purse – Kidney Shaped
Presented is a handsomely constructed Nantucket Lightship Basket with a kidney shape and a braided leather strap for a handle. It has a charming whaling engraving on the front and top. We have a small collection of these. They were made within the last couple of decades and, although we’ve owned them for some years, we are just now offering them for sale. We acquired these baskets some time ago and recently discovered them in our warehouse. They are contemporarily made, although we’ve had them for at least 10 years.
11″ L x 6 3/4″ W x 8″ Ht
Inside Top Inside
Engraving on Top Engraving on Front
History of Nantucket Lightship Baskets
In the mid-1800s, the state of Massachusetts commissioned lightships, staffed with approximately 10 men, to provide light to passing ships in the heavily trafficked waters around the dangerous shoals to the south of Nantucket. The lightships, acting as floating lighthouses, were positioned to warn of the dangers and to prevent disastrous shipwrecks. With little to do during the day, the crew turned to weaving rattan baskets to pass the time on board. The wooden bases of the baskets were prepared ashore, while the weaving and assembly took place on the lightship. The original concept for the basket design was thought “ have been cultivated aboard whaling ships of the time”.
The three significant elements found in the construction of the Nantucket lightship baskets are:
- 1) The basket is woven on a mold, 2) the weaver uses rattan also known as cane, 3) The basket has a solid wood base
Price: $250.00 Shipping: $25.00