Nantucket lightship Purse
with Whale Engraving
Presented is a handsomely constructed Nantucket Lightship Basket with a wood handle. 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. We have different sizes and shapes, and will be getting all of these up on the website in the coming weeks.
Whale Engraving on Top of Purse
Inside Top Inside
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 baskets design was thought “be 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: $225.00 Shipping: $25.00