Wicker caskets, such as the one on display, were lightweight and inexpensive, making them a popular choice for funerals. Wicker caskets were not used for burials. They were commonly used for the temporary display of bodies in the home or to transport bodies prior to the use of body bags.
Behind the casket is a black case containing drapery and metal framework. In many rural areas funerals continued to be held in private homes. These portable drapes could easily be transported and erected as a backdrop to a casket for an at-home funeral.