William Appleton (1851-1918)

William D. Appleton (1851-1918) was one of nine children born to Oliver Appleton of Boston and Susan Silvia of Nantucket. He embarked on at least one whaling voyage, serving as a seaman aboard the bark Martha Wrightington of Nantucket from 1866 to 1871. Later, he joined the crew of the South Shoal Lightship and served there until being appointed assistant keeper of Great Point Lighthouse in 1889.

Appleton is believed to have learned the art of basket weaving from his crewmates aboard the lightship. His baskets are characterized by certain distinguishing features, such as stylized point carvings where the inner part of the handles meets the rim. On the reverse side of the same spot, he carved a slight chamfered edge.

Paul Madden Antiques is actively seeking baskets by William Appleton. Please contact us for a complimentary evaluation of your basket.