Designed to store and serve dumplings, this unusual Qing reed and wood basket originated in China’s western Shaanxi Province, which has a long-standing reputation for producing excellent dumplings. Both the top and bottom are edged with wide strips of bent willow hand painted with flowers. The wood is secured to the basketry with metal studs. A hand forged metal hasp is used as the front closure. Acting as a hinge in the back is a large metal ring loosely fastened to loops, an arrangement that allows the top and bottom parts of the basket to open so they form two side by side serving baskets. From the late 19th century, this interesting example of provincial Chinese utilitarian art is in good condition. Dimensions: height 11” (28 cm), diameter 15” (38 cm).