Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Like most collectors, I am an eBay nut. I had to wean myself off it for a while but I appear to be back there with a vengeance. One of my current obsessions is woven, lidded baskets like this one that is in the Emily Dickinson museum:

Oh, how I have craved a basket like this. So every so often I go onto eBay and drool over various baskets not unlike Emily's. Most are for sale from New England and would cost $120 (€95) or so delivered to my door. I was looking at these baskets just last night on a (sidetracked) trawl for Xmas presents.

Today, my favourite charity shop called to me even though I'm nursing an injured wrist and am not supposed to be either going out or typing. Off I went and, lo and behold, a lidded woven basket!

OK, it's not the same as Emily's (alleged) basket but it's as near as, for me. And it cost just €5! It has a little table inside that comes out, which I've discovered is a pie tray.

The basket was made in New England by the Peterboro Basket Company in New Hampshire. The company was founded by a man called Amzi Childs from Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1854, so it is not outside the realms of possibility that the basket in the ED Museum was made by Peterboro too. I will investigate this more and report back.

Inside the basket, showing the vinyl lining and the Peterboro stamp
Their site is very comprehensive and charming and it says, 'For more than 150 years the Peterboro Basket Company has thrived in the heart of historic Peterborough, New Hampshire, in the serene shadow of Mt. Monadnock, surrounded by four seasons of the world's most exquisite natural beauty.' Sweet!

Whatever way my Peterboro basket ended up in East Galway, I am grateful that it did. And I love that my favourite charity shop has yielded up yet another item with meaning for, and synchronicity with, my writing. After a topsy-turvy week, it was just what I needed.

And what am I going to do with it? Well, I'm going to fill it with my Emily Dickinson research archive: printouts, postcards, letters from the ED Museum, playbills etc. And the box that that stuff currently occupies will be the receptacle for the paperwork for my WIP, novel #4.

(Cross-posted with Edna O'Blog's Eclectica.)

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