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Catalog Data

Medium:
Wire, ceramic, glaze
Dimensions:
4 3/4 × 3 3/8 in. (12.1 × 8.6 cm)
Type:
Frogs (flower arrangement)
Date:
Early twentieth century
Description:
Green, ceramic flower frog with stem holders. The base of the flower frog is circular and raised on eight small feet. It is composed of a ceramic disc with two rows of holes surrounding a domed center from which thirteen copper wires extend upward. The wires are painted green and terminate with semi-circular hooks. They are arranged in three tiers, the tallest having three, the next: four, and the lowest: six. This type of flower frog is known as a loop flower holder, stem holder, orchid holder, or tube holder. It was considered especially suited to stiff stems and branches or could hold small vials or test tubes of water. The ceramic block with numerous holes was considered especially suited to thicker stems such as tulips and lilies.
Label Text:
The flower frog, also called the flower block, flower brick, flower holder, and floral arranger was a useful tool for flower design which would keep stems in place, as well as allowing access to the water source in vases as well as shallow containers. Before the invention of floral foam in the mid-twentieth century, many objects and materials were used to secure flowers in an arrangement. Chicken wire, sawdust, moss, clay, and pine needles were all possible options, but the invention of flower frogs made it easier to create symmetrical or free-flowing designs for both the professional and amateur floral artist. Example of flower frogs date back to the sixteenth century and as early as the 1870s many types, such as the dome, cage, loop, ‘Anglais’, ‘Japana’, and pin flower holders, were manufactured in the United States. Flower frogs reached the height of their popularity in the 1920s and 1930s and came in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the constraints of the display and containers. They could be decorative or entirely utilitarian and were typically made of glass, ceramic, or metal. Many were designed in whimsical shapes such as frogs, fish, hearts, and even gnomes. The utilitarian shapes include cages, pins, domes, or multiple tiers that allowed for more complex displays. Frogs could also be paired with or included connections for accessories such as a candle or figurine. Florists were instructed to keep a variety of sizes and kinds on hand that were suited to the container and size and structure of the stems used in a design.
Inscription(s):
Inscription in circular shape on base: J.P.O. / 9 / PAID
Topic:
ceramic  Search this
Frogs (flower arrangement)  Search this
wire  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1980.029.002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq463458fa6-50bd-495e-8d0f-d465e3009bef
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1980.029.002