Longaberger baskets are rich pieces of American tradition and history. They have exceptional beauty and exquisite craftsmanship that basket collectors and ordinary people have come to love. Handcrafted since the 1919, Longaberger baskets are the Holy Grail of the basket-making industry. They command such respect that many collectors are willing to pay high prices for the rarest and well-preserved ones.
However, with hundreds—even thousands—of these beautifully-created baskets available for every collector to grab, knowing which “signatures” to look for could dramatically increase your Longaberger’s selling price.
So, the million-dollar question is:
Which specific signatures should you look for to ensure that your Longaberger basket would command a handsome price?
Let me name some of the rarest and best ones:
- Collectors’ Club Baskets. Baskets belonging to this line are some of the most sought-after and priciest items. They normally come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Included in this particular line are J.W. Miniatures/Minis.
- Dave Longaberger. Baskets signed by Dave Longaberger, the founder of the Longaberger Basket Company (LBC), typically command the highest prices among all other baskets.
- Grandma Bonnie. Grandma Bonnie is Dave’s mom, and her personally signed baskets are considered rare.
- Tami Longaberger. She’s Dave’s eldest daughter and current LBC CEO.
- Rachel Longaberger. Head of the Longaberger Foundation, Rachel is Dave’s youngest daughter.
- Dave’s siblings. Baskets inscribed with Dave’s siblings’ names and birth order also fetch high prices. They are: Genevieve #1, Wendy #2, Jerry #3, Larry #4, Richard #6, Maryann #7, Judy #8, Ginny #9, Gary #10, Carmen #11, and Jeff #12.
Approximating Your Longaberger Basket’s Worth
Meanwhile, there are some factors that you should consider to get an idea of the monetary value of your Longaberger basket. These factors are:
- Rarity. As with paintings and historic artifacts, the rarer the item is, the higher its price. If you’re unsure as to how rare your item is, you could inquire with established collectors, publications (such as The Bentley Collection Guide) or, if possible, with a Longaberger family member.
- Provenance. This refers to the practice of tracing down the succession of ownership of a particular object, mainly paintings and other rare pieces of art or religious/historic relics. If your Longaberger was handmade by one of the most prominent members of the Longaberger family, then your item will surely have a high price tag on it.
- Item condition. The highest priced Longaberger baskets are normally the ones in mint condition. Conversely, the more damages and imperfections there are, the lower the market price. Finding a Pot of Gold
There are times when you’d come across a very rare Longaberger basket that you could easily sell for several hundreds of dollars. Just like in finding some rare DaVinci or Picasso, getting your hand on a mint condition, rare Longaberger basket could be through sheer luck. If you did stumble upon one, then it’s like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
But luck notwithstanding, your ability to spot the right signatures could help you cash-in on your Longaberger basket. Just keep in mind the factors I mentioned above and you’ll surely be on the right track.