Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Tisket. A Tasket, Look at the Pretty Brides Baskets.


    Collectors sometimes give a new name to an old object. This is the case of the Victorian Brides Baskets. The old glass and silver company catalogs, never listed a,"Brides Basket." They were called berry or fruit bowls. Today they are called." Brides Baskets, as they were very popular as wedding gifts during the Victorian era, 1860-1900.
  Silver plate companies made the frames and bought the glass basket inserts from glass companies, and vice versa. They were married up ,to form what we all know today as a," Brides Basket." Because they were a product of two companies they were rarely marked as to who the maker was. Some times the silver companies would mark the frames, as there was a law ,stating that silver plate had to be marked ,as so. There were a lot of silver companies that made these frames. A few of the more popular ones are: Reed and Barton. Rogers Brothers, Pairpoint,Tufts. Meriden and Britanna. The same goes with the glass companies. Art glass of this period were rarely marked in any form, one has to learn the look to tell the maker. A few of the companies that made the glass baskets are: Crown Milano, Mt.Washington,Peach Blow,Moser, Webb and New England Glass Co.
     The bowls were all hand blown of art glass and usually had crimped or fluted edges. They have hand painted decorations, which was very tricky to do.After there were hand painted they were required to be fired to set the paint. A lot of the glass explodes or slumped with the re- heating. Reguardless of this problem, thousands were made and survived . They have been very popular with antique and art glass collectors for many generations. More often than not, they are found in the parlor of today's homes, even thought they were meant to be used in the dining room. The bowls are found in plain glass as well, but the more sought after are the fancy colored and highly enameled decorations. The highest prices are paid for baskets with unusual forms and rare art glass. A lot of brides Baskets today are not in there original silver frames. To achieve a higher selling price this is important. If the bowl does not fit the frame, slides around, it probably is a marriage.This would not bring as much as if it was the original frame.
   Almost all the silver frames were plate. Most being quadruple plate,which meant there were several layers of silver. The plated is done by  a process that transfers silver on to a base metal, like copper, by electricity. Some frames were made of sterling, but most likely  not, as it was far ro expensive and had to be hand made, where the plate ones could be mass produced from molded parts. A few were made from brass or bronze and some simple ones had pewter frames as well.
    During the 1880's. fancier glass inserts began to appear and the styles available were numerous by the 1890's. American silver and silver plate companies used glass bowls that were made both in America and Europe. The bowls added greatly to the cost and the popularity of the brides basket. A 3 layer quilted satin glass bowl was very labor intense to make, costing much more than a plain ruffled cranberry bowl. The bowls were hand blown by one artist and then turned over to a painter or decorator, which added to the cost of production. Rarely  did a blower of the bowl ,do his or her  own decorating. Most American collectors tend to like the American made bowls best. I usually pay no attention to who made what, and buy what I like and think is beautiful.

I bought this brides basket as I thought the orange color looked good with my french hand blacked wall paper boarder,


   Like a lot of antiques, the Brides Bowls, are not as popular as they once were. If you gave one today as a wedding gift to a young couple, most of them would say, " what the hell is this?' They would much rather have a Kitchen Aid mixer, that would cost about the same amount of money, as an antique Brides Basket.. Most old time collectors of antiques never settle with just one of any thing. I have three Brides Baskets that I am sharing with you today, but I have friends that have many more. When I was a new collector I was so excited to finally find and be able to afford a Brides Basket. That one is long gone, sold off in one of my many moves, and the ones I have today, are just as pretty and I find them great fun to use as a decorative accessory. The colors are vast and one can choose the color to match the room.
   I hope you enjoy this little lesson today on the so called, Victorian Brides Basket, aka, fruit bowls. Come by, My Old Historic House ,any time for a real tour and see for yourself, my beautiful Brides Baskets.. Remember, I will always leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. It has turned a little colder here in rural Missouri. I for one am not ready or excited about the coming winter. But, what is one to do, but ready themselves and get out the warm cloths and blankets. See you next time

This basket has the original frame as it has grapes molded in the silver and the bowl has grapes pained on the glass.


Victorian1885 said...

Good afternoon Richard
I have always loved Brides Basket and yours is wonderful. The history you provide us with all of your treasures is very valuable so thank you!


akissfromthepast said...

beautiful items. now i allmost can hear the ella fitzgerald´s a tisket a tasket........ :)

Babs said...

So Victorian and so pretty.Thanks for the history. Richard, have you ever run across any leather key baskets given to brides in the South before the Civil War?

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Gorgeous post, Richard!

We are back from the lake and I am blog wandering!:-)

debchester said...

Bride's baskets are such lovely things. It's good to know what they were originally intended for, although they're so pretty it would be a shame to cover them with fruit.

What has civilization gained when it discards anything that's too much trouble to dust or polish and can't be run through the dishwasher?

Modern brides just don't know what they're missing!



Oh my goodness, my grandma used to have a basket in pink and mother has it now, so hope she parts with it someday soon! You have me singing dear Richard, like Ella...a tisket, a tasket a brown and yellow basket...lalala...thanks for sharing about this pretty baskets too, I love your stories too. Love,

xinex said...

These are very pretty, Richard. They are very dainty and I love the ruffled edges...Christine

Kelly_Deal said...

Hi Richard! Those bridal baskets are beautiful!

lvroftiques said...

As always Richard I very much enjoyed the lesson. I have seen many brides baskets around but the pretty ones like yours are quite expensive. I can tell you if I were a bride I'd much rather get a beautiful brides basket over an ole mixer any day! *winks* Hugs and loves to Sissy girl from me. Vanna

ornamentsbypink said...

I've never seen brides baskets, and what beautiful silver handles.
I like that orange one.
Learned something new again!

Designs By Pinky said...

HI Richard, I have come from Alison's blog and it is so nice to meet you! I am so glad you included pictures of your ROOM at the end of this post so we can see the beautiful bride's baskets where they "live" so to speak. I will be back to visit again. I have never been to Mo. Maybe one day, and we will look you up! XO, Pinky

Pamela Gordon said...

These are very beautiful! I don't think I've seen one of these before and I found your post very interesting. Thanks!

mississippi artist said...

Beautiful baskets. I am going to be an antigue expert if I keep reading your blog-and I will. Kiss Sissy.

Rhissanna said...

Richard, lovely pictures and very informative. I learn something every time I come here.

Do you ever use your baskets. I must admit I'd be tempted to pile them up with something pretty. Plums, maybe. Or vanilla truffles wrapped in Italian foil.

Thank you for posting.

Martha said...

I love Brides Baskets and you have wonderful examples!

rachelsjunkinthetrunk said...

Oh Richard what a beautiful post...well what an overall beautiful blog....awesome!I am a new follower sent over by Allison @ the Polo House :)

Pearl said...

Such gorgeous baskets I love the one with all blue flowers inside, Yum! I hope to find one someday! Nice post.

Bohemian said...

Your fabulous Home and Collections always blow me away my Friend... a Beautiful Visual Escape!

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Beverly said...

Richard, it is all gorgeous.

I always learn so much from you.

Rhissanna said...

Thank you Richard, for your sweet comment about Mother Crow. Yes, she'd be very happy down in New Orleans!

Love Of Quilts said...

The Baskets were very nice.... O but I loved the lamp setting on the table with the basket and the bust. Trish

lvroftiques said...

Richard I have your dome post saved to my favorites AND I have the pictures in my pinterest! *winks* I've only found one other person with a collection to rival yours and that's John Whitenight who's the premier expert on them in this country!
Could I get your opinion on something? I bought a large victorian bird dome ( 20" 8 birds) for $495. Did I pay too much? I can't find any for sale to compare with so I'd really appreciate your help. Thanks in advance Richard! Vanna

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Richard,
I have a few bride's baskets, but none as lovely as yours. And they seem to be without the gorgeous hand painted glass inserts, hummm....
I've got to fix that!
Thanks so much for sharing you beautiful collection and history.

An Historical Lady said...

Ooooh, yummy~


Sweet Old Vintage said...

The brides baskets display quite lovely in you home... I do not own any but have always thought them to be very pretty.. I won't tire of my Christmas as it is going to be just winter and I am cutting my decorating drastically...OutsIDE of one 4 foot tree I will only have some bottle brush in cloches ect.. No Santas... Angels... Ect. In the inspiration this year... simple lovely...tomorrow my plan is to clean out and wash and clean screens and set it for the holidays.
I have a lovely see through piece of fabric that was bought from a wholesaler when still in design business that shows white christmas lights up as sparkling stars that I.will lay across the whole area of the window where my Christmas village usually would be... And will use touches of winter among other objects.. I know when you decorate you would have so much....I would be tired also... Will you have open houses this year? I hope spelling is ok as I am on my Ipad and the touchpad is so sensitive.... Have a lovely weekend.

bj said...

You always show us the most beautiful things..and I always learn something from you with every visit.
...♫♪ a tisket a tasket, i've lost my yellow basket...♪♪

Butterbean Row said...

Hi Richard,
I had never heard or seen Bride's Baskets ever. You have taught me something new.You should write a book.
Thanks for sharing your pretty baskets.


Brigitte said...

Hello Richard,
Your Brides Baskets are lovely !!! ( another favorite of mine)
I have several silver plate baskets but my favorite is my pink one.
Yours are so wonderful that it really would be hard to pick a favorite.The history you tell in every post is much appreciated especially by new collectors,
Have a great day,

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

Your bride's baskets are very beautiful. Such exquisite colors! I never knew much about them, but I see them a lot while antiquing. Now I know what they were for and how they got that name!


Jo Smith said...

Hi Richard,thought I would try to find some history of brides baskets and came across your info.Stunning!! Thank you from Australia. I live in a small country town, pop. 214 people, and even though we have just gone into winter, our area has been declared in drought. There is a little bit of rain tonight, but we need inches of rain. Garden extremely dry and am still watering. Thems the joys of gardening. Love your beautiful room too. Cheers Jo.