Peter Finch has been a Nantucket islander for over 20 years. Originally a skilled woodworker, he discovered his love for lightship basket making immediately after relocating from Connecticut to the island. Now, people from all around the country attend his intensive, 3-day basket weaving seminars. The ORIGINAL Nantucket Lightship Basket Bracelet, fondly known as the BrACKlet©, and it’s smaller version the BrACKletta©, were created exclusively by Finch and are the first of their kind. Although shamelessly copied by others on and off island, if you want the ORIGINAL, signed and series numbered, make sure it is Peter Finch’s signature work.
There is nothing that conjurs up the image of old world charm like a Nantucket Lightship Basket. Renowned Nantucket basketweaver, Peter Finch has created the most elegant accessory for women and men alike – the ORIGINAL Nantucket Lightship Basket Bracelet – also known as the Bracklet©. This incredible piece of heirloom-quality jewelry is woven in the traditional “tight weave” manner that has been handed down by the local Nantucket tradesmen from the days when lightships warned sailors not to stray too close the the rocky shoals of Nantucket.
Each Bracklet© is woven slowly and precisely with imported rattan and capped with legally reclaimed genuine ivory, hand-carved to fit your exact size. Incredibly skilled scrimshanders painstakingly engrave and dye each end cap with your own customized text to celebrate your connection to the island. Each Bracklet© is then uniquely numbered and stamped with the artist’s mark ensuring your guarantee of authenticty and the highest of quality standards.
The new thinner version of the Bracklet, known as the Brackletta©, is made to the same standards as its predecessor and is also fully customizable. This bracelet is ideal for women of all ages and makes the perfect personalized gift for any occasion!
Each Brackletta© is hand woven slowly and precisely with imported rattan and the ends are capped with completely legal, pre-ban genuine ivory, hand-carved to fit your specific Brackletta©. Highly skilled scrimshanders painstakingly hand engrave and color each end cap with your own customized text to celebrate your connection to the island. The inside of one endcap is also uniquely numbered and engraved with the artist’s mark of Peter Finch so that you are guaranteed your Brackletta© is authentic and made with the highest of quality standards.
The Nantucket Lightship Basket
The story of these baskets originated on Nantucket. During the period from 1856 to 1900, it became an accepted custom for men stationed on lightships off Nantucket to make a type of strong basket soon called the “Nantucket Lightship Basket”. Using rattan carefully woven around cane or hard wood ribs, these baskets had a wooden bottom, with handles fastened by wood and later brass “ears” and were made in several sizes, ranging from an “egg basket” to a “potato” size.
Originally designed for household use, they included the traditional “sewing” and “needle-work” baskets. Some makers put these varied sized baskets into a single collection known as a “nest”. Many men retired from their lightship duties and continued to make those baskets on the land. In recent years, these workers were succeeded by those who have not only continued the style but have adapted the basket to use as a lady’s handbag, using an oval shape with a wooden cover, and a scrimshaw design on the cover. These are very much in demand and a number of Nantucket basketmakers have built up regular business in producing the real “Nantucket Lightship Baskets”.