Yesterday as I was researching this post, I noticed Emily Evans Eerdman had just come out with a post on Christy's auction of the contents of Albemarle House, Patricia Kluge's estate in Virginia. As I looked into it some more, I realized that after the Kluge divorce, John Kluge remarried and built another house nearby, Molvern, whose contents had been auctioned, also by Christy's, in 2005. This incredible picnic hamper which had caught my attention and was to be the piece de resistance of this post, was part of that auction. To read more, click article from the NYT which appeared in December 2005.
Although day-trippers have used wicker carryalls since the 1700s, the true picnic basket was born in 1901, when British luxury-goods retailers like Asprey started stocking hampers filled with tableware for motorists to enjoy on country drives. While modern options start at about $80, this four-person set from 1908 — made by travel outfitter G.W. Scott & Sons, and complete with copper kettle and burner — recently sold at auction for $3,500.
Simple mugs say brunch; a corkscrew means this set can handle cocktail hour for four, too. ($43.99; picnicbeyond.com)
For more on picnics and getting organized click here