According to the signature under its lid, Ruth N. Stambough of Landisburg, PA decorated this handmade “lunchbox” type basket, most likely in the 1930s-1940s. Landisburg, population 195 today, is situated in Perry County in South-central PA close to Carlisle. Several Ruth Naomi Stamboughs appear in local obituaries and church records of the time. While Perry Co. is not legitimately located in Pennsylvania “Dutch” country to the east, the regional early German influence is clear on the free brush strokes, palette and tulip motifs of the decoration; the Stambough clan also resided in York, PA. There were fine basket weavers from colonial times onward, but most baskets were the products of anonymous farmers or other laborers using local materials to create strong, utilitarian objects of rough permanence. Our example is more unusual because of its provenance and refinement, Based on custom, Mr. Stambough probably made the basket as winter work, specifically for Mrs. Stambough to decorate. The laboriously cut white oak splints, the tight weaving, the handmade copper fittings, balanced form & elegant steam shaping of curved elements speak of affection; the handsome decoration, including monogram, is a measure of the pride in the gift and the Stambough family's position in the community. Condition: Excellent. Dimensions: 5" x 5.5" x 9".