18th Century Pack Baskets

Most 18th century baskets are identifiable by their shape, often with a unique name and a distinct purpose. Those skinny conical baskets you use to sell strawberries are pottles. Those broad, round baskets that your laundress uses to carry your clothes to the wash are buckbaskets.

But what of these backpack baskets? The modern name tends to be “pack basket,” but I’m not clear on what the 18th century term for such a thing was. Possibly dosser or dorser, but these really refer to a large basket used to carry goods “on Horſeback” or “on either ſide [of] a beaſt of burthen.”

If I find the historic English term for the 18th century backpack basket, I’ll add it here. In the meanwhile, here are some examples of such baskets from 18th century illustrations.