Market Lavington Museum

A Victorian Wicker Basket


In the late nineteenth century, many young people found work in service in more well to do households. These posts often involved living in the servants’ quarters of the employer’s home, which was sometimes at quite a distance from the servant’s own home.

In Market Lavington Museum, we have wicker baskets, which were used by a maid for storing her clothes when travelling and whilst living away from home.

Servant basket

Victorian servant’s basket

This is half of a two part basket set. A similar, but slightly larger, basket forms the lid. The donor of our baskets informed us that, when girls left service to marry, their basket might be used as a baby’s bed.

1870s cape and gown

Baby boy’s clothes – 1870s

So, our 2019 display at the museum has the ‘baby boy’ wearing a white cotton piqué dress and cape, used locally by the Colman family in the 1870s.