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Catalog Data

Manufacturer:
Miller Iron Company  Search this
Medium:
Cast iron, paint
Dimensions:
36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm)
Style:
Rustic
Type:
Planters (Ferneries)
Origin:
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Date:
ca. 1870
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Cast-iron planter in the "Rustic Flower Stand No. 1" by Miller Iron Company. This three-piece planter consists of a stand, bowl, and removable pan liner. The stand looks like a three trunk with its roots spread over the base. The bowl is comprised of a perforated branch design. The liner has a scalloped and molded rim. This design was patented July 6, 1869 and according to the manufacturer is could also be fitted for a fountain. Rustic style was immensely popular in the Victorian era, and the height of its popularity occurred between 1840 and 1890. Rustic objects share a common aesthetic of being artfully assembled with materials harvested directly from nature to create a variety of furnishings and decorative objects for the home and garden. Rustic furnishings and accessories were thought to be especially suited to the garden, as they blended in with the natural landscapes. Rustic materials and motifs include tree branches, twigs, roots, burls, bark, pinecones, acorns, seashells, animal horns, and antlers. Rustic designs were often constructed from found objects or were cast or carved to appear like these articles. Rustic objects were usually irregular and asymmetrical to mimic the forms that would occur in nature. Rustic designs could be made following instructions in contemporary publications, but the popularity of the style led to the mass production of Rustic style pieces.
Rustic style was immensely popular in the Victorian era, and the height of its popularity occurred between 1840 and 1890. Rustic objects share a common aesthetic of being artfully assembled with materials harvested directly from nature to create a variety of furnishings and decorative objects for the home and garden. Rustic furnishings and accessories were thought to be especially suited to the garden, as they blended in with the natural landscapes. Rustic materials and motifs include tree branches, twigs, roots, burls, bark, pinecones, acorns, seashells, animal horns, and antlers. Rustic designs were often constructed from found objects or were cast or carved to appear like these articles. Rustic objects were usually irregular and asymmetrical to mimic the forms that would occur in nature. Rustic designs could be made following instructions in contemporary publications, but the popularity of the style led to the mass production of Rustic style pieces.
Label Text:
Since ancient Egyptian times, containers for plants, flowers, herbs, and edible plants have evolved according to the needs, fashions, and technology of the time. Through the centuries, these vessels have influenced the horticultural and aesthetic role of plants, and allowed for their cultivation, transportation, and display. The Industrial Revolution in the 1800s brought mechanization and mass production techniques that allowed a variety of eclectic plant containers to be produced cheaply and efficiently. Cast-iron, china, terra cotta, and wooden plant containers were readily available in variety of styles and sizes. These containers were placed both indoors and in the garden. With a long historical tradition of designs and styles of containers to draw on in the nineteenth century, Victorians grew their plants in a diverse collection of containers depending on the family’s income and taste.
Planters, sometimes called flower boxes or ferneries, are a type of container usually placed outdoors and used for growing and displaying live plants, flowers, herbs, or edible plants. They came in a wide range of dimensions and materials and could be highly decorative or plain and unpretentious. Like urns, planters were used in the Victorian garden to define spaces and direct the eye. They were placed to mark perimeters and frame vistas in large gardens, or when placed in small gardens, helped to better make use of the limited space. Depending on their size, design, and placement planters acted as simple accessories or principal features. These qualities appealed to the moderate budget of the middle class, who wanted to ornament their gardens but could not afford large, heavy sculptures of marble and lead.
Mark(s):
Miller Iron Co., Prov. RI
Inscription(s):
Inscription: MILLER IRON Co., / PROV. R.I./
Topic:
cast iron  Search this
Outdoor ornaments  Search this
pedestals  Search this
urns  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
planters (containers)  Search this
Rustic  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1983.007.a, b, c
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4c7fd65d3-b144-40fe-9c91-c37e2f1c4422
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1983.007.a__b__c