Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Picnic Hampers From Yesteryear

I was told when I bought these wicker flasks that they were originally part of a Victorian picnic basket.
"Think Downton Abbey," she said.
So I did a little research....

I had no idea that this is what she was talking about!
Apparently, the Victorians took their picnics seriously!
I found out that the British Company of G.W. Scott and Sons invented the picnic basket and showed it at the great exhibition of 1851.

In 1922, A.G. Scott exhibited their Coracle brand of fitted luncheon and tea baskets.
The picnic hamper above is probably a poor man's version with its zinc or tin lids and plain dishes.

This leather lined hamper is quite lovely and includes a copper tea kettle!

How proper and elegant alfresco dining would be after a trip to the country in the motor car.
I imagine little cucumber sandwiches and flasks of sherry or tea.

Honestly, if I ever found one of these picnic baskets, I would buy it immediately!
I even think I would use it.

I saved the best one for last.
It was made for a Rolls Royce and fit in the boot of the car.
It is amazing and incredibly rare.

I feel a little sad that my wicker flasks came out of a wonderful hamper like this.
I can only imagine what their original sets were like.  

Are you ready for a picnic yet?
I sure am.  With Fourth of July in just a few days, I'm thinking of hauling out my not-so-Victorian wicker picnic basket and filling it with sandwiches and rosè.
It will be perfect for watching fireworks!

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14 comments:

the polished pebble: said...

Great post Delores! Actually I have found most of the parts and pieces that were found in these baskets at antique malls and flea markets. You can actually "re-build" all of the components of the original basket contents if you do a little searching. I have sold off all of my pieces and even the English basket because I've stopped collecting but I would love to see you put one together!!! I know it would be amazing

xo Kelley

Jane@Bluebird1959 said...

I know it was a much less convenient time, but it sure looks like people lived in style way back when! Love those bottles! Thanks for the awesome post. Jane

Sheila Irwin said...

These are awesome!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. So elegant... I bet the food tasted better being served this way:)

Sheila Irwin
maisondecinq.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

What a fun find, Delores! The baskets are totally charming. Wouldn't it be fun to picnic with one of these?
Happy 4th of July…….enjoy your picnic!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

I truly love finding out about the history of an old piece! It adds so much to the story! Now we're so concerned about maintaining a certain temperature in our coolers. I never heard of anyone dying from a school lunch bag with a tuna sandwich...but then I'm slightly off topic!! Your flasks are beautiful!

suzieQ said...

I had no idea such things existed. I am fascinated by the egg cups, however. Picnicing for breakfast? How elegant some of those sets are. They look so lovely but I hope either the strong butler was there to haul it to our spot and who is going to pack the soiled pieces without trashing the whole shebang? Oh, practical American Yankee girl!

Curtains in My Tree said...


those are all so charming I would love to have a complete basket set

cindy hattersley design said...

I have often wondered where some of the wicker flasks that i HAVE came from. These are wonderful! How is the move coming along?

Patricia said...

What a beautiful post!

And that's MY perfume... "Fleurs de Rocaille" by Caron!
My mother wore it too. One of my best adventures was stepping into a cab and saying, "Avenue Montaigne, s'il vou plais"... and walking into Parfumerie Caron! Ahh!

Patricia said...

.... I clicked on the wrong key!
"S'il vous plait"

laura Madalene said...

This looks like such a beautiful place! It's been ages since I've been to the Hudson Valley but my husband and I were just talking about how we wanted to go!
DIY Ideas

Carol said...

Beautiful

Carol said...

Beautiful

laney said...

...there is a lovely spot called dowdell's knob not far from the little white house in warm springs...the knob overlooks a beautiful little valley...and president roosevelt loved to picnic there...we are told his picnics were very elegant affairs...perhaps many hampers... like the ones you posted...were used...fdr had a picnic at dowdell's only two days before he died...today one can picnic...and look out across the very same valley that a president once did...while pondering a world at war...it was a beautiful and peaceful place...and it still is...blessings laney

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