Mallet & Froe

Date: 1800s

These tools are reminders that it is hard work to make a basket! Valley basket makers first had to find and cut down the tree, and then they were ready to use other tools above. The tool on the left is a wooden mallet, and that on the right is a froe. The mallet and froe were used together; the basket maker positioned the froe against the cut oak tree, and then tapped it with the mallet to carefully remove the tree’s precious heartwood. After the wood had been removed, it was ready to be “flat split’ or pulled through a basket maker’s die.

Medium: Wood; Wood, Iron

Place: Mallet: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Accession: 2001.0013.585

Collection: Shenandoah Valley Collection

Category: Stone & Metals

Purchased in 2001 from Mildred Helsley.