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Catalog Data

Wrought iron, wire, paint
Overall: 27 1/4 × 15 in. (69.2 × 38.1 cm)
Basket: 6 3/4 × 15 in. (17.1 × 38.1 cm)
Plant stands
ca. 1900-1950
Bowl-type plant stand on tripod base made from wrought iron and wire painted white. The plant stand is supported on three stationary disc feet. The tripod armature of heavy iron tubing meets near the feet, then rise and spread to support a ring to which is attached an iron wire basket. Different liners could be placed inside, which allowed the gardener to change out the potted plants based on the growing seasons. The basket is wide and shallow, and the open spaces allowed for water drainage from rain or hand watering the plants. The frame of the plant stand is made from wrought iron and the basket is made from wire strands drawn and interwoven to complete the structure. The French excelled at making these delicate wrought iron and wire garden furniture which were popular in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. These pieces were appealing for both the garden and terrace because they were less obtrusive than other types of garden furnishings due to the near invisibility of the wire.
Label Text:
The Victorian love of nature and display were combined with the plant stand. Both decorative and storage space, plant stands displayed botanical specimens both in and out of doors in the nineteenth century. They came in a variety of sizes and shapes that might include multiple tiers, elaborate structures, decorative features, or separate surfaces for each plant or flower. Plants stands were often placed on porches and verandahs, where they provided transition between house and garden. These stands were also found throughout the home, bringing nature indoors and adding color and scents to the room. They might be the focal point, placed in corners, or other areas in need of visual interest. Fragrant varieties of flowers and potted plants, such as palms, were popular choices for plant stands in the nineteenth century. Flowers and greenery were often mixed together on its shelves, either grown in pots on saucers or displayed in decorative vases. The stands and their plants could be rented from the florist or nursery for special occasions. In addition to their decorative appeal, they were also an important tool for the gardener. Plant stands served as home for the plants more susceptible to frost and weather that were brought in to a winter garden in the home, conservatory, greenhouse, or other outbuildings.
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Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens