Baskets, Cultural Objects

Thomas Merritt King Gathering Basket

Maker/Creator: Thomas Merritt King
Check (Locust Grove District)

White oak

  • Length: 31  1/2 inches
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Height: 10 inches



This rib basket was made for a specific farm chore: bringing ears of corn in from the garden. It has two main ribs (40 inches long) running the bottom length of the basket from rim to rim. The rim is shaped from a vine with the ends tapered and overlapped. Each rib is flattened except where tapered on the ends. Narrow splits are used to lash the rim and start the weaving; wider splits are used to finish the bottom. Additional short ribs appear to have been inserted long after the basket was completed to reinforce worn spots. Lashing around the rim is deteriorating.

rib basket, gathering basket
Bio Sketch

Thomas Merritt King (1856-1928) was married twice, first to Sarah Elizabeth “Sally” Yates (1860-1889) .  They had six children, two of whom died very young.  Eight years after Sally’s death, Thomas married her sister Martha Ann “Mattie” Yates (1868-1951). They also had six children, one of whom died as a infant.