This basket is a miniature of the original Nantucket Lightship basket. In 1840 the US government commissioned a ship to be outfitted with a light to aid navigation off the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The sailors on board worked in long eight month shifts. To pass the idle time they took up the art of basket making taught to them by the local Indians. In 1890 the trade was moved to Nantucket Island where craftsmen used native materials to make the sturdy baskets with scrimshaw tops for decoration. The little coin tucked inside your basket is for good luck! The legend goes that if a two pence is thrown overboard while passing the lighthouse leaving Nantucket harbor, you will be granted safe passage and safe return.
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