This large round basket found in Florida is made of pine cones, with a hoop handle made of a sturdy branch. The pine cones are wired to a base made of wood, with a bottom of peeled twigs laced together with narrow strips of leather. It was accompanied when found with this clear, pressed glass bowl, which is removable for washing and is great for holding fruit, nuts, etc. Due to its size, the basket makes a good centerpiece.
Pine cone baskets, along with ones made of other natural materials, were a popular craft for hobbyists in the early part of the twentieth century. It's not easy to date items like these with precision, but we feel comfortable in estimating it's from the 1930's, a time when "make do" was the order of the day. As is true of other hand made items, some baskets are better than others, depending on the talent and vision of the maker. While there do not seem to be a lot of pine cone baskets for sale for comparison, this one appears to be sturdy and well made.
The basket measures about 16 inches across and about 11 inches tall to the top of the handle. The bowl is 8 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 3/4 inches deep. The basket and bowl together weigh 4 pounds, 6 ounces and both are in excellent condition, with very little damage to the scales (the "petals" on the cones) and no chips or cracks on the bowl.
Baskets like this one are examples of both folk art and traditional American crafts and look good in both modern and country surroundings.