Posted 12 months ago
Art glass baskets at the end of the Victorian era were popular to decorate in the home and have function through out the year. Baskets could be filled with rose petals and other flowers that are dried into a fragrant mixture of potpourri to add fragrance in a room. During the holidays, baskets would be filled with coloured eggs, jelly beans, and sweet chocolates for Easter or traditional candy canes for Christmas.
Butler Brother's sold Imported Bohemian glass baskets of assorted colours, sizes, and various shapes in quantity. Collector's for sometime have attributed the origin of these baskets to North American glass company, Boston Sandwich or from a British, Stourbridge glass company such as Stevens and Williams.
Much Bohemian glass was produced for export and a great quantity was sold to England and to the USA. It's understandable why a collector today would believe an unknown piece of glass to be of an American or British provenance if traced and there is no other information available to attribute.
The basket pictured above was advertised in 1892 with a colour description of Citron, Raspberry, Blue Speckled, etc. It is not often there is a description of detailed colour specified with each order. If you can guess, the basket shown is considered the "Citron" colour. It is yellow and does not react under a black light.
The rim on this basket is a key marker. Only a specialized tool can produce such a rim pattern. It is also important to consider not every Bohemian glass company could produced the same basket shape, because the baskets required a special sized mould to make the body.
Butler Brother's never advertised who the glass manufacture was. Instead the BB wholesale catalog advertised glasswares as "Imported Bohemian."
Now we can fast forward 121 years later from the time this basket was produced, and ask does it matter who made it in the eyes of a collector? Maybe... Maybe not. The fact that we can prove a date of production, origin and understand the mass production of Bohemian glass from Butler Brother catalogs is enough for now considering for years what collectors have already attributed it to.
Basket is 6-1/2" tall with a 4-3/4" diameter rim.
If any collector would like to know about Butler Brother Catalogs, please go to the West Virginia Museum of American Glass website to purchase wholesale catalogs. The "ALL ABOUT GLASS" magazine, Vol. 2 No.2 has a great article from Lee Marple on Victorian Baskets.