Campell River, Vancouver Island Museum Photo Gallery

Mary Madeline -(Wilson) Francis

First Name: Mary Madeline
Last Name: (Wilson) Francis
Lived: b.1883
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The three baskets pictured below are believed to have been made around 1918.

Stylistic Signatures:

Although three baskets are not a large enough sample to isolate a basket maker’s stylistic signatures,  these three beautiful baskets made by Mary Francis are distinctive in their homogeneity - both in terms of construction and motif.

All of Mary's baskets follow the convention common to many Comox, Homalco, Sliammon and Klahoose basket makers:  the bottom wall slats are left undecorated.  Other regularities include:


1)      braiding along the base - present on two of the baskets

2)       bundle coil rims - found on all three of the baskets

3)       Type __ base stitching (used on all of the baskets)

4)       beautifully proportioned zig zag or linked ‘v’ motifs in identical colour sequence: black (uppermost) white (middle) and red (bottom).

5)      Distinctive handle stitching (see illustration)

Also intriguing are anomalous cross stitches on two of the basket bases (see illustration).  Elsewhere, non functional irregularities like this have been identified as ‘signatures’.