Baskets

Basket making is a widespread craft that has been practiced across the world for millennia. Since many baskets, particularly those made of degradable materials, do not preserve well, the exact history of their origin is unknown. However, baskets discovered during archaeological digs in Egypt have been carbon dated to about 5000 B.C.

Baskets can be made of almost any pliable material, but the majority of historical examples are made from organic sources including stems, grasses, thread, wood, straw, and even animal hide and hair. An important feature of indigenous populations, baskets have long been used as components of religious ceremonies, containers to store food and belongings, and vehicles for trading goods. The many uses of baskets resulted in the spread of different weaving and basket-making techniques within and across continents. Even so, specific styles and basket-making techniques can be traced to unique geographic regions. For example, in the Southwestern United States, Native Americans perfected the tradition of coiling with native grasses to create tightly-woven baskets with geometric, multi-colored designs.

Today, baskets can be made of almost any flexible material. Artists are increasingly using aluminum, plastic, steel, paper, and newspaper to create modern and aesthetically pleasing pieces.


Quick Facts

  • On December 5, 2005, Bonhams sold Tina Charlie’s Paiute polychrome basket, 1926, for $248,250
  • On August 6, 2005, Osana sold a collection of Nantucket lightship and friendship baskets, including a nest of three Isaac Hamblin ovals, two A.D. Williams miniature covered baskets, a 19th-century feather basket, and a rare 19th-century heart-embellished open basket for $115,000
  • Coiling with sweetgrass has been the preferred basketry technique in West Africa for centuries and was brought to the United States by African slaves. The art of making sweetgrass baskets is still alive today in the Eastern coastal states, especially in South Carolina

Recommended Items at Auction

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Old French wirework basket of oval shape, approx 53cm W
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Old French wirework basket of oval shape, approx 53cm W
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD30- AUD50
AUD907 Bids
Large Thompson River Woven Basket
Oct 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Large Thompson River Woven Basket
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $80- $160
$606 Bids
Coast Salish oval handle berry basket
Oct 17, 4:00 PM PDT
Coast Salish oval handle berry basket
by 4th Meridian Fine Art
Est: $200- $300
$1706 Bids
Coast Salish round lidded basket
Oct 17, 4:00 PM PDT
Coast Salish round lidded basket
by 4th Meridian Fine Art
Est: $200- $300
$1505 Bids
Wicker Planter, H: 28, W: 32, D: 11 in
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Wicker Planter, H: 28, W: 32, D: 11 in
by Weschler's
Est: $10- $20
$305 Bids
Vintage French wooden box made into basket, approx 30cm H (including handle) x 33cm W x 27cm D
Oct 24, 11:00 AM AEDT
Vintage French wooden box made into basket, approx 30cm H (including handle) x 33cm W x 27cm D
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD30- AUD50
AUD503 Bids
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E LIVING 4 PEICE BASKET SET
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
E LIVING 4 PEICE BASKET SET
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$43 Bids
TLINGIT SMALL VERY FINE WEAVE BASKET. 4.5" DIAMETER, 3" TALL.
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
TLINGIT SMALL VERY FINE WEAVE BASKET. 4.5" DIAMETER, 3" TALL.
by Sunset Auction
Est: $0- $0
$283 Bids
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PRESSED GLASS FRUIT BASKET UNMARKED
Oct 19, 12:00 PM EDT
PRESSED GLASS FRUIT BASKET UNMARKED
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$32 Bids
Sally Black (Dine, 21st century) How Coyote Put the Stars in the Sky, Basket
Nov 03, 10:00 AM MDT
Sally Black (Dine, 21st century) How Coyote Put the Stars in the Sky, Basket
by Hindman
Est: $200- $300
$1252 Bids
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 3 x 5 in. (7.6 x 12.7 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 3 x 5 in. (7.6 x 12.7 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $150- $250
$1202 Bids
Large New England Swing Handle Basket
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Large New England Swing Handle Basket
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Flower pickers basket, approx 45cm H
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Flower pickers basket, approx 45cm H
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD702 Bids
Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Full Lace Basket SET
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Full Lace Basket SET
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$752 Bids
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VINTAGE PICNIC BASKET
Oct 25, 12:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE PICNIC BASKET
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$32 Bids
Collection of Six Covered Baskets
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Collection of Six Covered Baskets
by Weschler's
Est: $10- $20
$102 Bids
Hand Woven Fish Basket
Oct 17, 10:00 AM EDT
Hand Woven Fish Basket
by Auctioneers, Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
PRINCE & KRAYNEK, WOVEN DATE PALM BASKET
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
PRINCE & KRAYNEK, WOVEN DATE PALM BASKET
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
NATIVE AMERICAN BASKET INDIAN ARTIFACT ARROWHEAD
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
NATIVE AMERICAN BASKET INDIAN ARTIFACT ARROWHEAD
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $10- $20,000
$101 Bid
Two Chinese Round Woven Wicker Covered Baskets
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Two Chinese Round Woven Wicker Covered Baskets
by Material Culture
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Grp: 5 O'odham Papago/Pima Baskets
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Grp: 5 O'odham Papago/Pima Baskets
by Revere Auctions
Est: $300- $600
$1601 Bid
Grp: 3 Northwest Coast Baskets
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Grp: 3 Northwest Coast Baskets
by Revere Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$601 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Baskets


Vickers & Hoad

Vickers & Hoad

Maynards Fine Art & Antiques

Maynards Fine Art & Antiques

Material Culture

Material Culture

Caza Sikes

Caza Sikes