Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thrifted Thursday// Tobacco Baskets


Want to know the next "it" thing to buy? If the popularity of HGTV's Fixer Upper and the number of bloggers who've highlighted the spread above in the Jan/Feb. issue of Country Living are any indication, tobacco baskets are about to blow up.

I can practically hear you: what the heck is a tobacco basket?  It's that thing over the mantle in the picture above; a large basket (ranging in size from 20-48" square) used to dry out delicate tobacco leaves before they were ground into pipe and cigarette filling; until the 1960s, there were tens of thousands of these things sitting on shelves in tobacco barns all across the US. Their popularity isn't brand-new; they've been a darling of American primitive and country collectors for years but recently, they've been popping up in decidedly more modern interiors (I know that I'd love to recreate this install in a contemporary design). It's not a surprise really because they are STUNNING; a visual mash-up of scale, texture and industrial.

I've always loved their sculptural quality and bought one years ago for practically nothing when they were considered "too country" for most people. You can still find them for a relative bargain if you happen to live in VA, TN, NC, KY or really anywhere that tobacco farms were once plentiful (stop at any roadside antique shop in those areas and you'll probably find a couple leaning against the side of the building) but their size makes them expensive to ship so prices for those of us to the north and west tend to be significantly higher; I've seen them at local high-end shops tagged between $400-500 a piece. Not a bad price for something with such presence but they can be found for less if you know where to look. Lucky for you, I do...


1. // 2. (note that these are reproductions) // 3. // 4. // 5. //
6.  // 7. // 8. // 9. (slightly different but still so cool)

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