Native American

Sewing Basket

Artist: William Silliboy (1932-1988)
Culture/People: Mi’kmaq
Place: Presque Isle, Maine
Media: Split Ash
Dims: 32 x 14 x 14.5 in. (81.3 x 35.6 x 36.8 cm).
Date: Late 19th/early 20th c.
RTC No: NA0078
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


This corner two-tier sewing basket stand is a blast from the past. Beautifully made in a wicker weave from ash splints, our catalog record notes the maker as William Silliboy (1932-1988). It was sold to Ted Coe as a memorial of the maker’s work of revitalizing a tradition. It came to Ted by way of William Silliboy’s brother through Aroostook Micmac Council Basket Bank.

Ted purchased the piece following the exhibition opening of Lost and Found Traditions, a celebration of the continuity of art forms. Ted was quite the celebrity for his tireless work in seeking out people to feature their work in the exhibition and the accompanying catalog. During his travels he also commissioned works for the exhibition and purchased for his personal collection as well, many of which are at the Coe Center today.

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