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Catalog Data

Wood, stain
23 1/4 × 18 7/8 × 5 3/4 in. (59.1 × 47.9 × 14.6 cm)
Flower drying implements
Twentieth century
Dried flower (possibly a sheet music) holder with an elongated, hexagonal, lattice frame to be hung against flat surface. The back has four rows of off-white plastic nobs at the crossing areas and three rows on front basket. Nobs appear to be pegged in rather than glued, all have dark wood stain around edges. The front edge of basket tilts out slightly. The sides at the base of the basket are single, flat pieces of wood. The entire piece is coated with a glossy, dark wood stain.
Label Text:
Dried flowers were used as mementos of friendships and loved ones from bouquets and funeral wreaths or as decorative additions to winter bouquets, when fresh flowers were hard to come by. Preserved, dried botanicals are created through a process of desiccation, which causes the removal of natural moisture from the fresh flowers. The earliest attempts at preserving flowers are found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, however successful preservation did not occur until the early twentieth century. One of the earliest and most effective process leading up to WWI was simply hanging the flowers upside down in well ventilated area for a period of one to several weeks. While some flowers and grasses could be naturally air-dried or dried in sand and would hold their shape and color for an extended period, others required a more complicated process. Early and largely ineffective materials used to absorb moisture included millet seeds, wheat, and rice. By the mid twentieth century, silica gel; a mixture of borax and cornmeal; and kitty litter, which is essentially ground clay, were common desiccants used to dry flowers. Flowers were completely immersed for one to three weeks or might be microwaved in a matter of minutes.
lattices  Search this
racks (supporting devices)  Search this
Dried flower arrangement  Search this
dryers  Search this
flowers (plants)  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