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Catalog Data

Wood, paint
Overall: 52 × 23 1/2 in. (132.1 × 59.7 cm)
First Shelf: 45 × 23 in. (114.3 × 58.4 cm)
Second Shelf: 30 3/4 × 16 in. (78.1 × 40.6 cm)
Third Shelf: 15 1/2 × 10 1/2 in. (39.4 × 26.7 cm)
Top Shelf: 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Plant stands
Late nineteenth century
Victorian (1837-1901)
Semicircular plant stand with four tiers, made of wood, and painted green. The shelves of the plant stand are attached with brackets to the horizontal stretchers, which are connected to a central vertical support. Unlike the three lower shelves, the top shelf is a complete circle. This piece would likely be placed against a wall. Its pyramidal shape is reminiscent of the “what-nots” or corner cabinets for display of objects instead of plants.
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.
plant stands  Search this
stands (support furniture)  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
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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