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Beadwork Basket

Origin: America, probably
OH: 9" x OL: 8" x OW: 6" (handle)
Wire, silk tape, translucent and opaque beads
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1954-838
This is a beadwork basket featuring a framework of wire wrapped in deep salmon-colored silk tape and shaped into a basket with 2 arched ends and with a bail handle attached to the sides. The framework and sides are covered with beadwork in prevailing colors of white, amber, and shades of blue in a crossing pattern. The interior of the basket is filled with naturalistic beadwork flowers and leaves in shades of green, blue, rose, yellow, lavender and white. The edges of the basket are draped with beaded cords and tassels in white, red, blue, and amber.
Label:This Victorian-era beadwork basket is entirely made of miniscule beads, from its decorative, tassel-laden basket to the bouquet of flowers within it. This basket is representative of the popularity of beadwork projects amongst leisured women in mid- to late-nineteenth-century America. Women with the time and resources to create decorative needleworked objects often made vases, wall hangings, table runners, and other various domestic objects, led by instructions in popular women's magazines such as Godey's Lady's Book.