Nantucket Basket with Lighthouse Charm Necklace iconic and beloved this Nantucket Basket Charm has a Scrimshaw lighthouse inset. A highly collectible and covetable piece of jewelry!
Comes on original 24" goldtone necklace and is ready to gift in a beautiful blue velvet jewelry box.
A featured item from our Kennebunkport Collection. One-of-a-kind unique items sourced from the Kennebunk’s in southern Coastal Maine. Bring an authentic piece of nautical or coastal history into your home.
DIMENSIONS: Approximate 1" l x 1" w x 2"h, .5" d, chain 24"
ORIGIN: Kennebunkport, Maine
HISTORY & FACTS: The history of Nantucket lightship baskets dates back more than 150 years. They were initially woven on whaling vessels from the 1830s to 1850s, where woodworkers called coopers made barrels to hold whale oil after the whales had been speared. These coopers had all the ingredients for making these baskets on board: woodworking tools, raw materials, and long expanses of time waiting for whales to be caught and drained of their valuable fuel.
With a rise in the whaling industry off the coast of Nantucket, the state of Massachusetts commissioned “lightships” (think floating lighthouses) beginning in 1856 to provide light for passing ships in heavily trafficked waters and dangerous shoals leading up to the island in the hopes of preventing shipwrecks. The crewmen aboard these lightships had lots of idle time and wove “lightship baskets” during the day since the need to guide ships was primarily after dark.
In 1948, a weaver named Jose Formoso Reyes came to Nantucket. He was a skilled craftsman who graduated from Harvard after growing up in the Philippines. He contributed to a significant evolution in these baskets, adding a lid so women could use them as handbags. Charlie Sayle, a local fisherman, master carpenter, and ivory carver, carved a small ivory whale which was glued to the top of one of Reyes’s basket lids, creating the friendship lightship basket style so sought after today.