Summary

This basket has been attributed to Fanny Cochrane Smith as a maker. Fanny lived at Nicholls Rivulet in the later part of her life. This basket was undocumented for many decades after having been purchased from the widow of Archibald Lawrence Meston of Tasmania. A letter accompanying the acquisition noted that it had been 'obtained from a quarter-caste [sic] living near Oyster Cove', and a grand-daughter of Fanny Cochrane Smith living at nearby Nicholls Rivulet recalled giving a small basket made by Fanny to Meston during his time as Schools Inspector. Made from the fibres of white iris, this is believed to be that basket.

Physical Description

A small circular twined basket made from White Flag Iris fibre. It has a handle made of two loosely plied fibres attached on opposite sides of the rim. The rim is overstitched.

Significance

Less than forty nineteenth century Tasmanian baskets survive in various museum collections around the world. Most of the surviving baskets were made either at Wybalenna on Flinders Island (circa 1835-1847) or at Oyster Cove (circa 1847- 1874) where Aboriginal people were relocated by George Augustus Robinson and colonial authorities. Only five baskets are by known makers, two made by Trucanini (circa 1812-1876) and three by Fanny Cochrane Smith (circa 1835-1905), this one being one of the latter.

More Information