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Catalog Data

Medium:
Wire
Dimensions:
12 × 3 × 1 1/2 in. (30.5 × 7.6 × 3.8 cm)
Type:
Floral frames
Church decorations
Date:
ca. 1860-1940
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
The floral spray became the most popular sympathy tribute in the early twentieth century. These hand-tied bunches of flowers were generally made with a dozen of the same type of flower and finished with a bow. Many florists preferred floral sprays to wire frame designs because they could be made easily, saving time and labor which resulted in greater profit. These designs were sent to the homes of the bereaved or the funeral home. Larger sprays could be placed on the casket and was a less expensive option than floral pall. Sprays could also be used as church decorations for funerals, holidays, weddings, and other special occasions. A pew marker was a popular form of decoration used in churches the home for occasions such as weddings, funerals, holidays, or important days on the religious calendar. Markers were placed at the end of a row of seating or the church pew, which is a long bench seat for members of the congregation to sit during church services. Pew seating might also be used in church choirs, synagogues, and even some courtrooms. From the mid-nineteenth century, pew markers were usually used to highlight the main center aisle; however, they may be placed at either end of a row to indicate reserved seating. The markers were small hanging receptacles, which held clusters of flowers and foliage, often trailing over the edges, and they were often adorned with ribbons or cords in colors that complimented the occasion. Pew markers were usually lined and held a receptacle for a water source to help keep flowers fresh. These floral designs were popular for church and home weddings in the nineteenth century. In the 1960s and 70s, pew markers such as this were replaced by plastic pew clips and floral foams, which made the decoration of churches and other venues easier to arrange, install, and remove.
A pew marker was a popular form of decoration used in churches the home for occasions such as weddings, funerals, holidays, or important days on the religious calendar. Markers were placed at the end of a row of seating or the church pew, which is a long bench seat for members of the congregation to sit during church services. Pew seating might also be used in church choirs, synagogues, and even some courtrooms. From the mid-nineteenth century, pew markers were usually used to highlight the main center aisle; however, they may be placed at either end of a row to indicate reserved seating. The markers were small hanging receptacles, which held clusters of flowers and foliage, often trailing over the edges, and they were often adorned with ribbons or cords in colors that complimented the occasion. Pew markers were usually lined and held a receptacle for a water source to help keep flowers fresh. These floral designs were popular for church and home weddings in the nineteenth century. In the 1960s and 70s, pew markers such as this were replaced by plastic pew clips and floral foams, which made the decoration of churches and other venues easier to arrange, install, and remove.
Label Text:
Set pieces or set designs were among the most popular floral arrangements in the second half of the nineteenth century. The term set piece is a usually applied to designs in a wide variety of forms, which are often symbolic in character. Shapes that expressed an overall theme for an occasion were very fashionable, such as designs made to depict the profession, associations, or hobbies of an individual. These flower arrangements were ordered for special celebrations, holidays, weddings, and funerals. Typical of the Victorian style, these designs were elaborate and massive, but unlike other forms of flower arrangement, the set piece was exclusively made by the professional florist.
Set pieces were usually made up on wire frames in the desired shape, which acted as a foundation for the floral arrangement. Commercially produced, heavy-gaged wire frames, fabricated from either plain or copper-plated wire, became available for flower arrangements between 1860 and 1864. The retail florist business was enhanced considerably by the high demand for arrangements on flower frames in the nineteenth century, and wire frames quickly became the basis of the retail florist’s inventory. 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. Wire frames came in both straight and curved outlines and either as a box (three-dimensional frame) or flat frame. Most designs came in several sizes and could be hung or placed on a stand or were free-standing. Standard forms in wire works catalogues ranged in size from 10 to 60 inches. Outside of the standard frame designs offered in wireworks and florist’s supplies catalogues, designs could be made for almost any occasion, with some large enough to make life-sized reproductions.
Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century floral fashions changed. Some set pieces faded in popularity by the early 1900s, but some remained favorites well into the 1940’s. Many of these same designs are still used today, but the wire frames have been replaced by shapes made from more modern materials to save the florists’ time in making up the arrangement, as well as providing water to the flowers allowing for greater longevity.
Topic:
Floral frames  Search this
frame components  Search this
wire  Search this
ceremonies  Search this
decorations  Search this
Floral Accessories  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
floral designers  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
funerals  Search this
funerary objects  Search this
holidays  Search this
weddings  Search this
wirework  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1980.036.006
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq486d5849e-5427-4e6b-9892-2040c5c71817
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1980.036.006