This antique, hand made wooden gathering basket from the 1800's is brimming with wonderful decorative details. The blue paint (blue for blueberries?) was applied over a layer of black, which shows through at various points of wear. The paint is old and alligatored and has a great aged look. The sides are canted and one has chunk out of it which is painted over, so that piece may have been used that way originally to construct the basket.
The handle is hand wrought iron, made undoubtedly by the village blacksmith. The high, arched loop features a spiral twist on each side, ending in narrow rat tail hooks. Those hooks are attached to the sides of the box through loops of iron affixed with two round iron buttons. This was additional work on the smithy's part to give a utilitarian basket those touches of craftsmanship.