Today I want to share something a bit later in the 19th century than I normally cover. We often talk about band boxes or pasteboard boxes for storing, housing, carrying our bonnets. Most of us have seen the nifty cloth and cane bonnet bag at the MFA. Baskets it appears were used in the later half of the century.
I am unsure how frequently they were used or in what situations. I did see an 1868 mention of a bonnet basket being given to a bird (aka being used as a bird cage I suppose) in Notes on Birds.To me, this suggests they were somewhat common. This passage from an 1880s guide book suggests the use for guests:
So far, this is the earliest mention of using a bonnet basket, 1867:
This next example, with directions comes years later: