Four Winds Craft Guild
Frequently Asked Questions about
Nantucket Lightship Baskets
Q: I have a Nantucket Lightship Basket. How much is it worth?
A: The only way to determine the value of your basket is to have it appraised. Four Winds Craft Guild offers both verbal and written appraisals. Verbal appraisals can be done at no charge, and for $25 we will prepare a written appraisal which is great for insurance records, etc. We must see the basket in order to complete the appraisal, as it is difficult to provide appraisals over the phone. Please contact us to arrange for an appraisal.
Q: I’m thinking about buying a Nantucket Lightship Basket. How do I make sure that I am buying a genuine one and not a fake?
A: At first glance, it may seem that all Nantucket Lightship Baskets look alike. However, once you begin to shop around and hold and inspect them, you will be able to tell the difference. The baskets made overseas are manufactured on assembly lines, often with low grade materials and plastics, and usually in a completely different manner from the genuine ones made on Nantucket. All genuine Nantucket Lightship Baskets include an artist’s signature.
Q: When will my basket be dark?
A: Yes, that dark honey patina is so lovely! New baskets darken with time and use. Don’t be afraid to use your new basket or purse as handling and exposure to the elements will speed up the process a bit. Also, be sure to display and store your basket out in the open, circulating air and indirect sunlight will also help to deepen the patina. Look for slight variations in color right away, but it will be some time before your basket is dark all over. The amount of time it takes also depends on the finish your weaver used, so it varies from basket to basket and from weaver to weaver.
Q: How do I care for my basket?
A: Use a few drops of leather conditioner yearly on the hinges. If your basket is dusty, use a blow dryer to clean it off. You can put paste wax on the ivory to protect it. If you want to give the basket a little shine up, spray it lightly with a solution consisting of 1/4 part Murphy's Oil Soap and 3/4 part water, and then wipe it off with a towel.