Indian Curly Lidded Basket from Maine

Item number: PYH 5623

This handsome Native American Indian basketry bowl was sold in The Indian Store in Greenville, Maine. Situated on Moosehead Lake, The Indian Store was started in the 1930's by Alfred P. Faye (1902-1972) to sell the baskets made by his Abenaki wife, Molly Tomer. We firmly believe that Molly was the maker of this early basket. We have included a photo of Molly and her husband "The Basketman" and also one of the Indian Store, taken in 1952. The basket bears a manila-colored Dennison's hangtag from The Indian Store, tied on with white string.

The basket was constructed of thinly shaved black ash splints with wrapped sweetgrass rims on the lid and upper edge of the bowl. The lid also has a decorative row of braided Hong Kong cord (twisted seagrass). Some of the narrow splints on the lid and the wider ones on the bowl were dyed green; the outside ones have faded over these many years, while the interior ones are still vibrant. The lid has a splint bow on top, while the bowl has two rows of plain curls and one that was dyed green.

There is a split in one of the loops of the bow and one of the curls, another curl is broken but still there, and there is an area on the inside bottom that has some light brown stains (all shown in our photos). The basket is in otherwise excellent condition, with the exterior very clean and unstained. The lid fits snugly but is easily lifted off. The piece weighs 5 ounces, measures 8 inches wide across both the lid and the bottom and stands 4 inches high. It's a superb old Indian basket that displays beautifully.


**** Want to read the whole story about the Indian Store and Molly's baskets? Click link below.

The Love Story of A.P. Faye and the Indian Store | The Moosehead Historical Society & Museums (

PYH 5623