How to Identify & Value Old Longaberger Baskets (Guide 2023)

Last weekend, I asked my grandkids to fetch our picnic basket from the shed. They explored every nook of our shed, and there they found another old, coiled basket instead of a new one. And as curious as kids are these days, they bombarded me with questions!

‘Why does this basket have an attached cutting board?’ ‘Why is this so heavy?’ and whatnot!

Now, what they saw was an old Longaberger basket, a key attraction of the 1970s. This one had all your travel utilities in one place – cutting board, cutlery, etc! But it’s not just that. There were many more unique features too! If you’re as curious, I’ve compiled them for you all!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • You can verify old Longaberger baskets by their logos, tags, fabric liners, and criss-cross weaves.
  • Vintage Longaberger baskets with Wood lids, Metal nails, Brass tags, and Ceramic moldings fetch the best returns.
  • Dual-toned Color-block, Trellis, or Over & Under basket weaves raise its resale cost by $100 – 300.
  • You’ll get three Longaberger baskets – Storage, Picnic & Magazine. Of these, the storage baskets are large and cost up to $1500 for their aged, Pewter walls.
  • If you love colored baskets, the hand-pigmented Brown, Beige, White & Orange ones are perfect.

What Makes an Old Longaberger Basket Stand Out From the Rest?

Different Types & Sizes of Longaberger Baskets

Now, since a Longaberger basket has an old weave, it feels solid and heavier than the others. Also, you’ll see handwoven maple details and Brass logos, along with the features below:

  • Fixed or Swinging Wood or Leather handles with fabric liners
  • Solid wood lids with attached knobs and leather straps
  • Metal tie-ons with flower, fruit, star, and flag motifs
  • Extra trim strips with hand varnishes, plastic protectors, and iron stands
  • Two horizontal green bands at the top

When Did Longaberger Baskets Evolve & How?

You’ll get most of the top Longaberger baskets from the 1970s, after the war. But even before that, we had some similar models from Dresden. And Longaberger had joined Dresden to learn basket weaving and started his own brand in the 1950s.

But yes, the first models were not at all commercial. Most of them were for local farmers and traders with simple wood weaves and ethnic patterns. But they also sported some solid maple stains and finishes that hike their costs up to $5000 today.

Then, by the 2000s, Longaberger worked on a multi-level model. Like, he started using a custom base frame and regular weaves for all! But then, there were other manufacturers too! So, the company faced a lot of competition and had to stop production by 2013.

3 Types of Old Longaberger Baskets & How to Identify Them?

Now, we can all assume that a Longaberger basket’s cost might change with the size & use. So, let’s see how!

1. Storage & Shopping Baskets

Longaberger Storage or Shopping Baskets

These are large, 16 – 20” baskets for cakes, sacks, and bread. Most have washable fabric liners inside, but some also use metal tie-ons and plastic protectors. Besides, you might see old Pewter or Whitewashed finishes, costing $300 – 1500 per piece!

2. Picnic Baskets

Longaberger Picnic Baskets with Liner

You can easily identify these 6-10 inch baskets by their twisted wood handles, cutting boards, and lids. They are more portable and have matching accessories – pottery, cutlery, or fabrics. Also, these might have some ceramic moldings that hike the cost from $100 – 900.

3. Magazine & Bread Baskets

Magazine & Bread baskets are small, 5 – 9” baskets, each with a rectangular shape and plaited finishes. Such baskets have flexible wood or cane handles with extra liners to save from moisture. Generally, these cost about $60 – 500, as per the color and condition.

8 Identification & Value Factors to Appraise a Vintage Longaberger Basket

Now let’s study some other factors like age and material that will help you identify and appraise an AUTHENTIC Longaberger Basket.

1. Longaberger Basket Dates & Design Features

Old & Jagged Longaberger Baskets in a Shed

Longaberger baskets didn’t obviously use the same design for all their products. For example, the earlier 1970s models had simple bare wood finishes and handles. But, as things developed in the 2000s, they added some liners too!

So let’s check the cost of such unique features:

Making YearAgeUnique Design FeaturesEstimated Cost
197053 yearsHand-weaved 4-5” Ashwood baskets with accent red, green, and blue borders$100 – 800, due to their small size
198043 yearsOval, Round, or Square Maple baskets with Black or Pewter finishes. These might have folding lids and cutting boards too.$60 – 2000
199033 yearsDecorative Maple wood baskets with Clay, Wrought Iron, or Wood accessories$100 – 900
199528 yearsThemed holiday or event baskets with whitewashed finishes and ceramic moldings$100 – 600
200023 yearsPortable, sleek, and modern designs with extra tie-ons, protectors, and rotating handles$30 – 400

Look for baskets with signed tags from Dave Longaberger, Bonnie, Tami, or Racheal to verify the make.

2. Vintage Longaberger Basket Part Materials

Old Maple Wood Longaberger Baskets in the Market

It’s true that most of the earliest Longaberger baskets used maple wood. But in the 1980s, makers started using fabric, brass, and plastic for different parts. These made them sturdier than the rest and hiked their costs like crazy! Let’s see how!

Old Longaberger Basket MaterialsUsageTop FeaturesAverage Value of Baskets with these Parts
Wood – Maple & DriftWalls, Lids & HandlesWarm, brownish finish with narrow strip weaves and split-resistant finish$300 – 2000
Metal – Copper, Cast Iron & Stainless SteelRivets, Nails & HandlesSmooth & Shiny appearance with Gray, Brown, or Powder coated finishes$40 – 500
Chrome, Bronze, Pewter & BrassTacks & TagsShiny, Yellowish tags with a smooth, metallic appearance$150 – 900
Leather, Fabric & PlasticLiners & ProtectorsMatte Cotton, Linen, Wool & Polyester lining with natural, abstract, or floral prints$60 – 1000
Ceramic, Porcelain & EnamelMoldingsPainted, coarse-textured murals and figurines on the handles$30 – 350

Old Longaberger baskets had no glues, seals, or staples. Instead, they had horizontal tacks and splints at the trims.

3. Old Longaberger Basket Patterns

Different Types of Old Longaberger Basket Patterns

You all might have seen a lot of baskets with the common linear and criss-cross weaves. But did you know that Longaberger explored some twinned and abstract patterns too? Like, in the 1970s, they played with spirals; in the 2000s, they used lattices.

And here’s how much you can charge for each:

Vintage Longaberger PatternsTop FeaturesRough Price
Over & Under-Weave, Candy Stripe, Checked, Diamond & GridInterwoven warp strips with joints at the corners or in the middle$40 – 1200
Twining, Trellis & RuffledMade by two workers with colorful bands at the sides$70 – 900
Chase Weave, Roses, Pinstripe & BorderedInterwoven Spiral or Helix-like weaves$40 – 350
Accent Weaving, Color Block & Tone-on-ToneColorful, Dyed patterns with simple strips or color bands$80 – 1000
Lattice Weave, Plaid, Ribbed, Dotted & ScrollSimple, criss-cross stitches with unique abstract turns at the center$50 – 600
Coiling, Foliage, Swirl & PumpkinLarge spiral patterns with printed liners or lids$70 – 1000

Pick Longaberger baskets with Button, Drawstring, Toggle, or Snap lock for an old make.

4. Longaberger Basket Shapes

Another quick visual test to identify your Longaberger basket is its shape. It’s so that the earliest Longaberger baskets were round or rectangular, while the 2000s one might be abstract or heart-shaped too! So, let’s learn to appraise them:

Antique Longaberger Basket ShapesAverage Cost
Curved – Circle, Ellipse, Halfmoon, Oval & Semi-circle$60 – 2000, as per the material
Bar & Cross$20 – 150
Symmetrical – Book, Diamond & Triangle$70 – 900
Asymmetrical – Bottle, Start & Heart-shape$20 – 350
Polygon – Square, Pentagon, Hexagon, Heptagon & Octagon$40 – 600
Silhouette & Cube$30 – 250

5. Antique Longaberger Basket Colors

Longaberger Baskets with Red, Green & Blue Streaks

It’s not just the shape but even the basket’s color impacts its cost greatly! That’s because the earliest handmade baskets had brown, beige, or white finishes, while the new, bold-colored ones might be spray-painted! So, the new ones don’t cost that much!

Vintage Longaberger Basket ColorsRough Value
Dark Colors – Black & Gray$80 – 400
Earth Colors – Brown, Beige & Orange$100 – 1000
Bare Wood & White$300 – 1500
Cool Colors – Blue, Green & Purple$20 – 500
Warm Colors – Red & Yellow$20 – 300
Metallic Gold & Silver$80 – 1000

6. Old Longaberger Basket Finishes

Vintage Longaberger Basket Finishes

You’ll get vintage Longaberger baskets in four finishes – Lacquered, Matte, Metallic & Glossy. Of these, the lacquered ones are old but might be faded or moldy. In contrast, the metallic ones are new but still fetch good returns due to the shine and brass polish.

Let’s check the details and prices:

Antique Longaberger Basket FinishesRough Value
Wood-finished, Lacquered, Varnished & Limed$30 – 800
Brushed Metal (Matte) – Brass, Copper, Nickel, Bronze & Silver$80 – 1000
Metallic & Glitter$200 – 1500
Glossy & Glazed$70 – 400
Semi-gloss & Textured$50 – 500

Try to get Longaberger baskets with extra features like foldable boards, lids, raised carvings, and multi-part lids for more returns.

7. Longaberger Basket Themes

Not all Longaberger baskets were made for picnics. Some of them had festive Halloween, Christmas & Easter designs as well. So let’s see how to price those:

Longaberger Basket ThemesAverage Price
Baby Shower & Anniversaries$30 – 1500
Halloween & Easter$20 – 600
Christmas & Thanksgiving$50 – 600
Father’s & Mother’s Day$50 – 400
Spring & Fall$30 – 400
Valentine’s Day & Wedding$10 – 200

Check if your Longaberger basket has Colonial, Baroque, English, French, or Mexican relief carvings on the lids, as these cost 5 – 10% more than others.

8. Rare Longaberger Baskets

If your old Longaberger basket has 2 / 3 colored streaks or any abstract shape, it might cost 20-30% more than others. In fact, some of them, like the JW Original Collection, are so rare or limited-edition that you won’t even get them easily. Let’s list more such models!

Rare Longaberger BasketsLast Resale Value
1996 Longaberger Blue$10,000
Longaberger JW Original Baskets$4000
Longaberger Parade Basket$9000
Grandma Bonnie’s Signed Mayflower Basket$5000
Masters Studio Kevin Hina Signed Basket$3000

Avoid getting any chipped, faded, cracked, or restored Longaberger baskets, as these lose their value.

Did the Longaberger Basket Company Make Pottery Too?

Yes, Longaberger Company started making vitrified pottery collections – cups, mugs, plates, and jugs by 2000, each priced at $20 – 300.

Are Longaberger Baskets Made in China?

Old Longaberger baskets were made in Roseville, Ohio. But then, in 1992, the company shifted production to Hall China Company of East Liverpool.

How to Clean Old Longaberger Baskets at Home?

Prepare a thin dish soap and tepid water solution, and scrub the stains with a soft brush. Now, use a cloth to wipe it off and air dry it for 1-2 days before storage.

Longaberger baskets have been one of top picnic collectibles, just like ‘old iceboxes,’ ‘fishing rods,’ and ‘fishing lures.’ And identifying these vintage items is much easier now with all the shapes, colors, and finishes. All you have to do is observe the piece and check its values from our guide!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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