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Catalog Data

Wood, fiberboard, paint
Outer: 26 1/2 × 39 1/2 × 12 in. (67.3 × 100.3 × 30.5 cm)
Inner: 5 1/2 × 3 in. (14 × 7.6 cm)
Planters (Ferneries)
Plant stands
ca. 1900
Victorian (1837-1901)
Box plant stand in the Rustic Style and painted brown. This long rectangular planter has a fiberboard liner and sticks that are cut in half vertically nailed to the exterior in the Rustic twig style. The flower box is supported by four legs and one center support all of which are connected by stretchers. 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 and plant stands, also called jardinières, were 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. 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. 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. Often times, undecorated, utilitarian pots of plants or flowers were placed inside the jardinière and hidden under a carpet of moss, which also provided moisture to the plant and protected the roots from being scorched in bright lights.
jardinières (plant stands)  Search this
plant stands  Search this
planters (containers)  Search this
stands (support furniture)  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
gardening  Search this
Rustic  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