A large basket from China’s late Qing Dynasty has a sturdy weave of reeds bordered by two wide bands of bent willow, originally painted with bright flowers that now are faded. An example of the provincial Chinese skill and artistry devoted to utilitarian objects, the basket is designed to form two serving bowls when fully opened. Dumplings were stored and served in this container, which is from the western region of Shaanxi, where excellent dumplings are a source of provincial pride. A metal ring attached to two loops acts as a clam-style hinge to allow both lid and bottom to rest flat and become a pair of serving containers. A metal hasp is used as the front closure. The willow bands are secured to the basketry with metal studs. This piece is in good condition. Dimensions: height 11” (28 cm), diameter 15” (38 cm).