Feature for March, 1999

(Flower Arranging Baskets)

picture of feature

The Japanese have been weaving bamboo baskets for many centuries. Bamboo has proven to be a very versatile natural resource. Bamboo grows profusely almost all over Japan. Many alternative materials are available for basket weaving: akebi vines, grape vines, maple bark, straw, reed, etc. However most of the alternative materials are scarce and cannot be readily obtained in large quantities. Bamboo sprouts every year and grows to full height quickly; it is ready to be harvested within two years. No other plant grows so quickly or is available in large quantities. Also bamboo is strong, resilient, heat resistant and water resistant.

Among Japanese bamboo baskets, the flower arrangement (Ikebana) baskets are the most popular and are recognized all over the world. In the past, people used flower baskets as household items; it was not unusual for a family to have several baskets around the house.

However, as with all hand-made objects made from natural products, baskets have become neglected, infrequently used items in the modern household. Unfortunately, the people of the younger generation do not appreciate baskets. Today, there are a number of basket artists who weave the most delicate baskets of outstanding quality. Many unsigned baskets are as beautiful as signed baskets.

The featured baskets here are between 40 and 70 years of age.

Prices are quoted at the beginning of the feature month. We reserve the right to change prices at any time. Please note that we do not update this page to reflect availability of items. If you are interested in purchasing any items, please contact Harumi Antiques.

To see a larger image of each piece, click on the image (~100K).

picture in a new window 1) Square basket
  • Tightly woven. Wide mouth will allow a flower pot to be placed inside. Signed Kazuhiro.
  • 13" x 11"
  • $320, s/h $60
picture in a new window 2) Hexagonal basket
  • Tightly woven, accented with knots woven into basket. Signed Myodou.
  • 21" x 8 ¼"
  • $500, s/h $60
picture in a new window 3) Double woven basket
  • Several grape vines have been woven together to make an interesting handle.
  • 17 ½" x 8"
  • $500, s/h $60
picture in a new window 4) Boat shaped flower basket
  • Unusual shape makes a nice decorative item.
  • 11 ½" x 16"
  • $400, s/h $60
picture in a new window 5) Fisherman's basket
  • Dark tan colored bamboo.
  • 11 ½" x 9"
  • $350, s/h $50
picture in a new window 6) Summer flower basket
  • Signed Chikusen.
  • 17" x 8"
  • $190, s/h $50
picture in a new window 7) Summer flower basket
  • Dark tan color.
  • 18" x 10"
  • $270, s/h $50
picture in a new window 8) Basket with bands
  • Wide pieces of bamboo skin are used to form a band.
  • 8" x 11"
  • $300, s/h $60
picture in a new window 9) Oddly shaped basket
  • Thick grape vine decorations
  • 14" x 11"
  • $400, s/h $60
picture in a new window 10) Double weave basket
  • With fine bamboo branches decorating the basket and handle.
  • 19 ½ " x 7"
  • $500, s/h $60
picture in a new window 11) Typical Japanese basket
  • The handle is an entire bamboo branch
  • 13 ½" x 10 ½"
  • $250, s/h $60
picture in a new window 12) Gourd shape flower basket
  • With many grapevines.
  • 21" x 5 ½"
  • $250, s/h $70
picture in a new window 13) Tall, narrow basket
  • Layers of bunched bamboo strips makes a basket with an interesting design.
  • 21" x 5 ½"
  • $300, s/h $60
picture in a new window 14) Tall basket
  • Checker design created with thick bamboo strips, good for arranging dry flowers on the floor.
  • 21" x 5 ½"
  • $350, s/h $70

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