This beautiful, decorative basket was collected around 1930 or earlier by a colonial administrator who served on the Malay Peninsula.
It has a round top and a square base, and an open weave. It has been made from light bamboo strips and a thicker bamboo rim for support and structure.
The shape and open weave are reminiscent of a Malay fish trap, or perhaps the type of larger sieve-like basket that Malay women would use to wash vegetables in prior to cooking.
Basket work was still being done on the Malay Peninsula in the 20th century by Malay women working in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Malacca and Kedah.
It is probable that this basket is from Kelantan on the Malay Peninsula’s east coast, given its provenance.
The basket is in excellent condition. It has a fine patina and obvious age and yet has no imperfections or losses.
‘An Exhibition of Malay Arts and Crafts’, organised by the Malayan Agri-Horticultural Association, March 28-30, 1952.
Lau, A.T. & B. Platzdasch (eds.), Malay Heritage of Singapore, Suntree Media/Malay Heritage Foundation Singapore, 2010.
Malaysian Traditional Crafts, Urban Council, Hong Kong, 1981.
Sellato, B. (ed.), Plaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest, NIAS Press, 2012.