Item/Auction Attributes

Mid 19th century.
Handle professionally reattached (conservation report included with lot), otherwise in fine condition with only some light wear around the rim.
6 5/8" HOA, 3" H rim, 3 1/2" x 8 3/4".
Provenance: Property of a Petersburg, VA private collector. H. Marshall Goodman, Richmond, VA. Purchased at the estate auction of John R. Major, Charles City Co., VA. Descended directly in the family.
Catalogue Note: The present key basket is the first recorded with an inscription. The lettering is perfectly executed in period script. The Major family settled in Charles City Co. during the early 18th century. The estate auction that included this key basket was held at the ancestral family home, "Oak Hill", built in the mid 1700s and occupied continuously by the Major family until 1989. The family archive was donated to Colonial Williamsburg in 1989. A newspaper clipping for the Major estate auction and other related paperwork accompanies this lot.
Literature: See MESDA - Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, May 1982, volume VIII, number 1, pp. 49-61, R. Lewis Wright, "Key Baskets", for a discussion.