A Hand Woven Bark Basket: Blade Cover
early to mid twentieth century
9 1/2" x 8" x 2 1/2", 24 cm x 20 cm x 6.5 cm
This beautifully compact small woven vessel was made to sheathe an axe blade, which is why a durable, hand carved, wooden guard is fitted on the top of the basket. The two small pieces of twine that secure the wooden guard to the body of the basket are made of wisteria fiber.
The basket itself is hand woven from mountain grape bark and its form is relatively flat, or pouch-like. There are two lug handles on each of its two sides; the long tie is said to be made of twined rice straw and the basket itself was made in Ishikawa prefecture.
This is a really beautiful, little piece of old Japan, and one that must hold stories of whomever used this basket in his daily life.
A gorgeous artifact.