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Catalog Data

10 1/2 × 7 × 2 1/2 in. (26.7 × 17.8 × 6.4 cm)
Floral frames
ca. 1879-1962
Victorian (1837-1901)
Wirework basket with scalloped edge. The base is a flat, oval with straight sides with arches forming the rim. This design was used to create low arrangements suitable for table decorations because it would not block the view or hinder conversations with individuals across the table. Commercially produced, heavy-gaged wire frames, fabricated from either plain or copper-plated wire, became available for flower arrangements between 1860 and 1864. The frames could be obtained for little cost to the florist, and if he managed to retrieve the skeleton after the occasion, it could be reused. Standard forms in wire works catalogues ranged in size from 10 to 60 inches.
Label Text:
Baskets for floral arrangements were made from a variety of materials and in multiple sizes and shapes. Baskets were extremely popular for floral designs as gifts, parlor decorations, sympathy tributes, and weddings. Baskets for displaying flowers and plants could be large or small, rounded or squared, and meant to be carried or to sit on the table or floor. In the 1800s, popular magazines and etiquette manuals suggested the use of baskets of flowers for decorating parlor tables and mantles that were in keeping with the aesthetic of their surroundings. For parlor decorations, high stands with or without branches, small pendant baskets, or hanging baskets of flowers, or of plants, were frequently used.
There were three categories of basket arrangements: plant baskets, flower baskets, and a combination of both. Baskets usually had full arrangements, giving the appearance that it was bursting with leaves and blossoms of one type or multiple varieties. Basket also suited the desire for loose graceful arrangements, which were fashionable in the late 1800s and into the 1900s. Because the basket designs allowed them to contain water in the base, plants and flowers inside stayed fresh longer. The variety and longevity of arrangements in baskets made them highly-favored by the customers.
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Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Gift of H. Weber & Sons Company.
Accession number:
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See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens