This rare, oval basket is a spectacular example of early American coin silver of the Classical Era. Overlapping silver wire loops rising from the base curve outwards creating a visually dramatic body.
Applied on the upper area is a stunning display of grapevines with detailed leaves, squiggly tendrils, and bunches of grapes. Not only does this ornament enhance the basket, but it also acts to strengthen the wire frame. A die-rolled band of small acanthus leaves with teardrops borders the base's bottom edge, which rests on four wonderful cast and pierced foliate and floral feet. The underside is engraved 'from your mother' above which a name or monogram has been almost unnoticeably erased.
This exquisite basket is marked 'G. W & H' for William Gale, Jacob Wood, and Jasper Hughes along with pseudo-marks of an eagle and a bust in profile. It measures 11.5 inches long by 10.5 inches wide by 3.75 inches high, weighs 31.80 troy ounces, and is in very good/ excellent antique condition.
For a similar basket sold by Baldwin Gardiner (and almost certainly made by Gale, although attributed to Gardiner), see: Donald C. Pierce, Art & Enterprise, American Decorative Art, 1825-1917, The Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection, High Museum of Art, 1999, p. 21.
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