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Catalog Data

Wood, paint
Overall Height: 41 3/4 in. (106 cm)
Base: 13 1/2 × 13 1/2 in. (34.3 × 34.3 cm)
Top: 23 1/2 × 12 1/2 in. (59.7 × 31.8 cm)
Fancy painting
Plant stands
ca. 1880-1900
Victorian (1837-1901)
Plant stand made of carved wood painted in the “Fancy” style. This plant stand is a gueridon, meaning a small table or stand supported by a column, ornately carved and embellished. It has a square base with a pedestal or column support with six decorative sections. Some sections are incised into central block of wood, others are applied. The top is an elongated oval with decorative pendants on each side. The entire piece has been painted in the style of Fancy furniture, with gold, red, and white details on a black ground. Fancy painting mimicked the appearance of fine furniture with painted decoration resembling expensive carving, gilt decorations, ormolu mounts, imported lacquer, and fine wood grains. Painted Fancy furniture was popular in America from 1790 until 1840, but this style did not die out until the 1880s; however, soon after the style was revived with the Colonial Revival style.
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.
guéridons  Search this
plant stands  Search this
stands (support furniture)  Search this
Fancy  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
gardening  Search this
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