Stephen Gibbs (1896-1974)

For two decades, Stephen Gibbs and his wife, Loretta, operated a quaint basket shop specializing in the renowned Lightship Baskets. Nestled at the rear of his brother-in-law's residence on Madaket Road, the shop served as a hub of craftsmanship and creativity. To supplement their income, the industrious couple also managed a modest bed and breakfast in Stephen's childhood home at the corner of Ash Lane and North Water St.

Before delving into the intricate art of basketry, Stephen Gibbs had established himself as a skilled woodworker and builder on Nantucket. His expertise in these trades endowed him with the knowledge to craft every component of his baskets with precision. Following a health setback in the form of a heart attack, Gibbs transitioned to the less physically demanding yet equally meticulous work of fashioning Nantucket baskets, primarily focusing on crafting elegant ladies' handbags.

Although often regarded as a self-taught artisan, Gibbs's introduction to basketry occurred during his youth when he occasionally delivered meals to Mitchy Ray, a renowned island character and third-generation Nantucket basket maker. Under Ray's informal tutelage, young Stephen was exposed to the intricacies of basket weaving, laying the foundation for his future endeavors in the craft.

From 1954 until his passing in 1974, Stephen Gibbs dedicated himself to weaving baskets of unparalleled quality and beauty. His meticulous attention to detail and choice of materials set his creations apart, with oak staves and ivory clasps becoming hallmark features of Gibbs baskets. Known for their durability and craftsmanship, Gibbs's baskets often garnered a waiting list extending two years into the future, a testament to their enduring popularity and reputation for excellence.

Paul Madden Antiques is actively seeking baskets made by Stephen Gibbs. Please contact us for a complimentary evaluation of your basket