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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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MICHAEL COHEN Pottery Bread Basket
Sep 28, 10:00 AM EDT
MICHAEL COHEN Pottery Bread Basket
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $60
$155 Bids
Two Vintage Gathering Baskets
Oct 01, 10:00 AM EDT
Two Vintage Gathering Baskets
by Gary R. Wallace Auctioneers Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$454 Bids
2pc Dale Chihuly Pendleton Basket Blankets
Sep 29, 5:00 PM PDT
2pc Dale Chihuly Pendleton Basket Blankets
by MBA Seattle Auction LLC
Est: $300- $600
$2004 Bids
Longaberger Pie Basket
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Longaberger Pie Basket
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$54 Bids
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SMALL FISHING BASKET & ANCHOR
Sep 29, 9:00 AM AEST
SMALL FISHING BASKET & ANCHOR
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD30
AUD354 Bids
Longaberger Basket
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Longaberger Basket
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$43 Bids
Longaberger Pumkin Basket w/Lid
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Longaberger Pumkin Basket w/Lid
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$73 Bids
NANTUCKET HANDLED BASKET
Oct 02, 11:00 AM EDT
NANTUCKET HANDLED BASKET
by Americana Auctions
Est: $250- $350
$3253 Bids
3-tier Metal Baskets
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
3-tier Metal Baskets
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$83 Bids
(5pc) Vintage Longaberger Baskets
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
(5pc) Vintage Longaberger Baskets
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$403 Bids
Vintage Wicker Basket W Hinged Lid
Sep 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Wicker Basket W Hinged Lid
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $40
$153 Bids
Orange Totes (2) and Basket
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Orange Totes (2) and Basket
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$62 Bids
Longaberger Basket w/RWB Liner
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Longaberger Basket w/RWB Liner
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$22 Bids
MARY PRATER MINIATURE BASKET
Oct 08, 10:00 AM EDT
MARY PRATER MINIATURE BASKET
by Ledbetter Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$501 Bid
Painted Nantucket Basket
Sep 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Painted Nantucket Basket
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
SAMUEL YAO (AMERICAN, 20TH/21ST C.)
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
SAMUEL YAO (AMERICAN, 20TH/21ST C.)
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Two splint field baskets, 19th c.
Oct 05, 4:00 PM EDT
Two splint field baskets, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Pennsylvania rye straw basket, 19th c.
Oct 05, 4:00 PM EDT
Pennsylvania rye straw basket, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Vintage Hand Woven Basket
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Hand Woven Basket
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Longaberger Basket w/RWB Liner
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Longaberger Basket w/RWB Liner
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Fred Chadwick Nantucket Lightship Basket
Sep 30, 9:30 AM EDT
Fred Chadwick Nantucket Lightship Basket
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
Large Hand Woven Feather Basket
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Large Hand Woven Feather Basket
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Longaberger Basket
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Longaberger Basket
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Baskets


Pook & Pook Inc.

Pook & Pook Inc.

McCurley Auction Company

McCurley Auction Company

Horst Auctioneers

Horst Auctioneers

Berner's Auction Gallery

Berner's Auction Gallery