Thursday, April 24, 2014


There were many willow and rye straw baskets made in communal Amana but another style stands out in itesign and rarity. It is the SCHAUP or Shoup basket made by the Schaup family, Martin (father),Tobius, and Samuel of South Amana in the years 1856-1915. They were originally from Canada joining the Amana colonists in Ebenezer, New York in 1845. The baskets, only known Amana-made wood splint baskets, were square or rectangular splint oak or poplar with or without a handle. The cut wood is soaked to become pliable to weave a sturdy, plain over 1, under1 pattern.Over a thousand were made for the weaver's personal use to carry foods, knitting, sewing and some were painted for children's Easter baskets. I have seen them in light matte greens, yellows, and blues. Made over a century ago, these Schaup baskets are hard to find and highly prized by collectors today. It is one of the communal crafts not revived locally so rarely surface today.

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