Washoe Coiled Pictorial Basket

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Washoe Coiled Pictorial Basket

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Estate of Congressman James D. Santini, Nevada

- Height 5.25” x Diameter 9.5” 
- Insect motif surround
- Early 20th century

PRICE: 2,400 INQUIRE

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About the basket

From the estate of Nevada Congressman James D. Santini. Santini was born in 1937 and raised in Reno. His grandfather Walter E. Clark was president of the University of Nevada from 1918 to 1938. Santini was a champion of mining and tourism, and represented Nevada in Congress as the state was embarking on a run of unprecedented growth in the 1970s.

Santini’s Native American basket collection represented a life-long passion. His enthusiasm and appreciation for preserving these important cultural and artistic treasures earned him a Presidential Appointment by Ronald Reagan to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

His collection included many notable weavers, such as Nettie Barber, Maggie Mayo James, Jennie Bryant Shaw, Lillie Frank James, and Agnes Pete (May Pete).

Santini passed away in 2015 at the age of 78.

A bit about Washoe baskets…

Washoe territory centered on Lake Tahoe and extended on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains into Carson City. 

Twined basketry of the Washoe is similar to the Paiute in technique, form and function. The primary weft was willow, used whole or split into rods for warp, with the pealed inner bark of the willow branch used for the weft. Trade with the Miwok brought the redbud for the red weft, and mud dyed bracken fern root were used for the black.  “Sun Burned” willow was sometimes used for a soft brown weft.

Coiled Washoe baskets are coiled left, and woven on either a single rod or a 3-rod foundation. The weaver attached one coil to the previous by inserting the awl through the top rod of the finished coil creating a hole for new sewing material. Rim coils are usually plain, but a diagonal herringbone rim finish (false braided rim) or a “whip stitch” (half braid) finish was sometimes used.

From around 1900 to the 1930s Washoe baskets evolved into more refined forms with artistically executed patterns. Many Washoe weavers began weaving for the collector market and competitions. Weavers such as Dat-so-la-lee took a leading role in setting high standards, and she refined the small mouthed rounded baskets known as a Degikup into a basket of perfect proportions with a design that mimicked the proportions.

Packaging and Shipping

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Sales tax

Items shipped or delivered to a Nevada address will include applicable sales tax on the purchase invoice.