Heritage Features Exhibit on Nantucket Baskets

COURTESY OF HERITAGE MUSEUMS & GARDENS

COURTESY OF HERITAGE MUSEUMS & GARDENS

SANDWICH – Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich is presenting an exhibit of Nantucket baskets and includes rare and unique pieces.

Nantucket lightship keepers started making baskets in the 1800s to stave off boredom and isolation and to add to their income. The practice resulted in the creation of pieces sought by collectors.

Nantucket baskets are characterized by a solid wood bottom and are woven with rattan caning around carved wood molds.

Rattan, which is a type of climbing palm, was originally brought to Nantucket by whalers from their stops in the tropical Pacific.

The baskets were sold to increasing numbers of summer visitors and gradually became the signature handbag of the island.

The exhibit runs through September 7 and features baskets from the Museum’s collection and pieces on special loan.

Included in the exhibit are nested sets of Nantucket baskets, which are rare and desirable, an oval basket made by Davis Hall, who is considered to be the first person to use the oval shape.

Heritage is located on Grove Street and admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children ages 3 to 11 and free for members and children 2 and under.

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