Around this time last month I showed you part of my English Cottage style living room and mentioned that I was working on a post about a recent find which wasn't transferware; an item shown in the picture below. Guess what it is?!?
Have you ever been introduced to a particular type of item and then decided you've got to find one for yourself? A few years back I discovered foraging baskets attached to walking sticks. I have been a little enamored with them ever since seeing one in a decorating book and then finding one in an online antique store. I finally found one for myself…see it in the pic above, just to the right of the fireplace?
The Foragers Walking Stick basket is usually constructed of a hand made wicker basket built around a rustic walking stick or cane. They have been popular in France for many years and are known there as "Panier a Champignons" or mushroom basket. Traditionally, they were used for collecting wild mushrooms before they were cultivated and sometimes berries or other food foraged from the woods. My foraging basket doubles as a flower picking basket as it's got leather, buckled straps inside which could hold shears or stand up small bunches of flowers.
Above is a late, 19C walking stick and trug sold at Sotheby's. This walking stick / basket combination was used by Roald Dahl ( author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach ). Dahl would go mushroom picking above his orchard in fields around his home with his Jack Russell at his side. It has a hickory shaft and beech basket / trug.
This basket was found at a roadside farm stand by another blogger for only $1! Unbelievable. Especially as the previous one I showed had a valuation of about $700!
I think that two of these with the hooked ends facing opposite directions would be such a pretty welcome on either side of a door or entryway, especially for a party. The contents could be changed out seasonally with fruits, foliage, flowers, gourds, pinecones, etc.
I love Anita's (Cedar Hill Farmhouse) arrangement of walking sticks and this foraging basket in her home. Click the link to see the rest of her post!
And isn't this Victorian era cane basket an unusual one? Does it also remind you a little of an umbrella not fully opened?
Recently as I was searching for an antique foraging basket I came across a few reproductions and bought some to sell in my online shop of which only 1 remains. I hope to get more in! I've also found some reproductions in online nurseries, most located in the UK so shipping tends to be pricey if you're in the USA.
Below, I partially filled one of the reproductions with a few flowers and placed it in my artillery basket along with some walking sticks.
And, in our back hall/entry I filled one of the foraging baskets with a bundle of twigs.
I think the baskets are such charming pieces making perfect cottage accents!
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