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Catalog Data

Wire, paint
48 1/4 × 15 in. (122.6 × 38.1 cm)
Plant stands
Victorian (1837-1901)
Plant stand for potted plant or flower arrangement made of bent wires painted white. The stand is formed by three vertical iron rods connected at five different levels to iron rings. Each ring is of a different circumference ascending from a wide base, tapering to the smallest point at the bottom third and flaring back out at the top. Different liners or flower arrangements could be placed inside, which allowed the owner to change out the plant based on the growing seasons or the arrangement when it was no longer fresh. These stands have also been called florist’s stands, and they could be rented for special occasions. The French excelled at making delicate wrought-iron and wire garden furnishings, which were popular in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. These pieces were appealing for both the garden and terrace because they were less obtrusive than other types of garden furniture due to the near invisibility of the wire.
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.
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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