Nantucket basket repairs have always been a part of my work that I find fulfilling and interesting. It gives me the opportunity to see many different styles, shapes, and techniques dating back as far as the 1850's! The most common repairs are of course handbags. Typically the cane wrapped leather hinges need to be replaced every 10 years or so. As you will notice in the pictures below I take the time to dye the cane I repair the baskets with to make the repair as close as possible to the original color.
Costs for repairs will vary based on the complexity and extent of damage. For handbags hinges are $60.00 each to replace, additional work (the lashing often must be repaired) is done on an hourly basis. Nantucket handbags made in the last 50 years range in value from $1500 - 10,000 so an investment of several hundred for repairs is almost always a smart move. Below you will see several finished repairs.
On occasion I receive requests to repair reproduction baskets. If you are not sure if your basket is a reproduction please refer to the buying guide page of my website where you can see a typical import. You'll have to decide for yourself if you want to invest the money on repairing one of these.
I only have time to work on repairs during the winter months, usually January through March so if you are thinking of sending a basket to me for repair you may send it when you like, it will be safe here at the shop, or you may want to hold on to it until late fall/early winter.
Antique baskets can be very valuable. This past summer a single basket sold at auction here on Nantucket for over $100,000! Needless to say an investment in repairing one of these baskets is certainly a good idea. Below are some of the more extensive repairs I have completed recently.
Here is a basket that you might think is beyond repair
but it is not
First I replace the missing staves with some vintage matching material
Then replace the missing weaving with carefully dyed cane to match
Here is a purse top that had a hole broken out of it and required both staves and weaver to be replaced and dyed to match.