Panamint bottleneck basket

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Panamint bottleneck basket

0.01

circa 1910-1930

5" diameter x 3 1/2" high

excellent condition

SOLD

(B0941)

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Panamint polychrome bottleneck basket

circa 1910-1930s

woven out of willow, juncus, and dyed bulrush root on a 3-rod foundation

5" diameter x 3 1/2" high

28 stitches/inch; 10 1/2 coils/inch

excellent condition

$8800.

(B0941)

The Panamint Shoshone Indians were migratory people who lived in the winter near Death Valley and moved to higher elevations in the summer. They were masters of basketry weaving, producing twined and coiled basketry.

A basket such as this is termed a "bottleneck" basket because of the turn inward at the shoulder and then the rise upward before the completion of the basket. The weaver utilizes her skill in making the turn while simultaneously maintaining the tightness of weave and form. 

The ticking on the rim is a characteristic of basketry weaving used by several tribes in the area. The specific materials used as well as the weaving techniques identify the basket as Panamint.

This Panamint basket is tightly woven and beautifully planned, with interlocking diamonds connected by a contral band that features Jewish stars on the exterior. There were many Jewish traders in the West and it is quite likely that this weaver learned of the six-pointed star design from exposure to one of them.

As the second photo illustrates, the Panamint weaver finishes the basket in a nearly perfect circle that is beautifully centered (both are very difficult to do while weaving a bottleneck basket, especially while keeping the stitch and coil count so tight). The design that the weaver planned is complex, with stacked stars or flowers as well as interlocking diamonds. 

This basket is a jewel. Baskets of this quality rarely come on the market.