There it was. This beautiful picking basket, sitting on the floor at an auction last October. I was walking through the auction preview (a time frame allotted prior to the auction to preview all the auction items) and I loved it and had to have it. I made sure I attended the auction the next day. It came home with me.
It was dirty. Clearly it had been well used. The bottom was broken in places.
But the details were amazing.
Like this piece of wood woven around and tucked back through.
This sturdy, functional, yet really beautiful handle.
The detail on how the canvas straps were attached. The basket has canvas straps so it could be worn as a backpack.
Every detail just shows they don't make 'em like they used to.
I started cleaning it with a whisk broom which is great for getting into every little crevice and getting what I like to call "barn goop" off of the basket. It was really dusty and it took a while to get in between all the woven pieces. Then I used a scrub brush with warm soapy water to get the last bits of dirt off of the basket. I let it dry in the sun.
All it needed then was a coat of polyurethane. It brought the wood back to life and it will protect it for years to come.
The polyurethane really brought out the rich patina of the wood. I intended to put it in the shop but then I put it on the hearth to stage a photo...
and it looked pretty good there. Now I have a dilemma. Keep or sell? I can't keep it all, but it sure does look pretty there.