Last weekend my hubby took my Mom and I to The Simple Goods Show. It is the second time we have been there and had a great time. I came across several items that caught my eye, but this was on item that really peaked my interest. I actually fell in love with it when I first saw it, but wasn’t really sure where I would put it. I though that I could take something off my wall and then hang the tobacco basket up or just find a new spot. Well, I have three particular spots in the running for this wonderful tobacco basket, but still have yet to make up my mind. Do you ever find yourself buying things and then trying to finding a spot for it. Yep, it must be a “prim” thing (lol). Anyway, I thought I would share some pictures of my tobacco basket and a little history about them.
Some baskets “might” be antiques, but believe it or not some were used all the way up to 1980. These basket were used to display tobacco taken to market. The leaves are normally picked by hand, starting at the bottom of the stalk. In the old days, the leaves were then carried to the tobacco barn where they were hand-tied onto sticks about 3 feet long. The sticks were then placed in tiers in the tobacco barn. A fire was lit and the leaves were cured to a rich golden color in the barn. When the sticks were removed from the barn, the leaves were then sorted by size and original location on the stalk of tobacco. Tips are from the top of the plant; cutters, about half as long as your arm, are from the center of the stalk; lugs are from the bottom. There are 216 different grades of tobacco. After sorting and grading, the leaves were tied into "hands." A hand of tobacco weighed about 1 pound if made of tips or lugs and about 2 - 3 pounds if made from cutters. A hand of tobacco is a group of leaves tied together at the stem end. The end is wrapped in another cured leaf. The hands were then laid in the tobacco basket in a circle with the stem ends pointing to the outside. The baskets were then loaded and taken to the tobacco warehouse where they were sold at auction. At the warehouse, the baskets would be stacked about two high to reach a pile weight of 250 pounds of flue-cured tobacco. The baskets were made from hand-rived oak, primarily in Yadkin County, NC. The oak strips are nailed together. The open spaces in the center of each side are to allow room for a hook to be attached. The hook was used to pull the baskets onto the scales and to load the baskets into trucks after the sale. The baskets were owned by the warehouse or the Board of Trade, a consortium of tobacco companies. The company name was stenciled onto the edge of the basket. Baskets are no longer used in the warehouses of the south. They have been replaced by burlap sheets. Baskets are still used in the markets in Maryland. You are now more likely to encounter a tobacco basket in an antique store or see one hung on chimney as a decorative device. Some baskets are hung on walls inside homes and used to display memorabilia or flower arrangements or other decorative items.
So, are you ready to see some close up pictures of my tobacco basket?
I absolutely LOVED the red and blue on the end of the basket. I thought it would match my colors in my family room perfectly. The basket isn’t perfect by any means, but that is what makes it unique. Don’t ya think?
Wouldn’t you love to know the history behind this basket? You wonder where it has been and who carried it? I always think about things so in depth sometimes. I guess my mind is always wandering and that makes it hard to shut it down (lol).
I pulled these pics off the Valley Voice website. Aren’t they so neat all piled up? Gotta love all the different colors!
You wonder why the different colors? Guess that leaves more time for my mind to keep thinking (lol). If I find out or you know then leave me a note. I would love to hear from you. Well, I hope you all enjoyed the pictures. I leave you with one last picture of my tobacco leaves.
Do you have an old tobacco basket? If you do then you should share some pictures. I would love to see it.
As for endorsing tobacco products…. I am not a smoker, never have been a smoker and never will be a smoker. Oh and I will never be a chewer either. Eww, yuck!! I guess you could just say that I enjoy the history behind it and decorating with it.
Until Next Time ~ Blessings, Lisa