Identifying Longaberger Baskets
Have you ever been to a garage sale or auction and wondered if the treasure you were looking at was really a Longaberger Basket? If so, you are not alone! Even those of us who have been collecting for many years have questioned whether or not the basket we have just stumbled upon is authentic.
While it would be impossible to correctly identify every basket 100-percent of the time, there are steps you can take to ensure you are buying an authentic Longaberger Basket and not an imitation.
To determine if you are looking at a Longaberger Basket, follow these simple tips:
- Turn the basket over. Is the basket dated, stamped with the The Longaberger Company logo, and signed with the weaver’s initials? Keep in mind if the Company logo has been marked out in any way the basket could be a second and contrary to some rumors these baskets are not worth more.
- Take a look at the material the basket is made from. Is it a hardy, solid maple or is it a lighter, more porous material? Longaberger Baskets are made only from hard-wood maple so the feel will be solid.
- Examine the top band, or trim strip. How is it attached to the basket? Longaberger uses tiny tacks to secure the top band. Staples were used for a very short time and are a rare-find so if the basket you are looking at is newer and has staples it is not a Longaberger.
- Study the splints. Are there upsplints intersected with rows of tight weaving? Oftentimes, imitation baskets are not tightly woven.
It is important to note there have been baskets produced by The Longaberger Company that are missing any number of these identifying marks. If you are ever in doubt as to whether or not you have a Longaberger Basket, we suggest you have the experts at The Longaberger Company take a look at it. There is always someone available at Longaberger Homestead to identify baskets and if you cannot make the trip, they oftentimes accept items by mail for identification.
Knowing these tips and tricks will help ensure you are purchasing what you intended—an authentic Longaberger Basket!
Stay tuned…now that you know how to determine if what you have is authentic, it is important to know how much the basket is worth! In next week’s Market Window, we will take a look at valuing your baskets!