Baskets were an important part of the Amana communal society. Women and men became quite adept at crafting baskets out of willow. These baskets are treasured today. The rare photo shows ladies dressed in Amana calico with sunbonnets cleaning onions for the communal kitchens. Note the three willow baskets in the foreground.
These Amana baskets were used for utilitarian purposes. They were extremely sturdy; thus, many remain today. I remember as a child having a "potato cellar" in the basement where my mother stored potatoes she had brought in from the garden over the winter in antique Amana willow baskets.
This smaller basket with a bentwood handle has a decorative touch with a small band of peeled willow at the top. It was no doubt used to bring home meals prepared at the communal kitchens.
A small peeled willow basket has the center section stained in purple to be used as an Easter basket to collect eggs at Easter. Hard to find!
Made completely of peeled willow, its intended use was not as a laundry basket, but for a baby!
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.