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Catalog Data

Medium:
Milk glass, paint
Style:
Arts and Crafts
Type:
Vases
Date:
ca. 1880-1920
Period:
Arts and Crafts (1880-1920)
Description:
Milk glass vase overpainted with floral designs. The background features a dark brown top with a streaky transition to tan decorated with large white, tan, and yellow flowers, including daisies, on a branch with green foliage. This design follows the shape and decoration of ceramic wares produced in the Arts and Crafts era. Naturalism, the realistic reproduction of the beauties of nature, was a popular style in the Victorian era. Though it appears as early as the 1840’s in America, naturalistic designs continued to the 1900s. This was in part due to the influence of the natural sciences, and interest in nature and gardening, which spread through the upper and middle classes in the nineteenth century. Naturalistic designs incorporated floral, foliate, fruit, vegetal, and animal forms into furnishings and decorative objects for the home and garden. Popular subjects included grapes, cornstalks, ferns, Solomon seal or laurel leaf, passion flowers, lilies of the valley, morning glories, oak leaves, acorns, vines, and roses.
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. With a long historical tradition of designs and styles of containers to draw on in the nineteenth century, Victorians displayed their plants in a diverse collection of vases depending on the family’s income and taste.
In the 1800s, vases were made in endless varieties, both of form and material, at prices to suit almost any budget. Vases are intended to hold and support bouquets of living or dried flowers, or they might be purely decorative. It is their use and not their form that makes them a vase and not something else. Some held large quantities of flowers and plants, while others were made for only a single bud. The Victorian emphasis on the “appropriate” led to many containers designed for a specific flower or foliage, whereas other containers could hold almost any variety. Floral containers were often displayed in pairs on a shelf, table, or mantelpiece or as alone as centerpiece or accent decoration. According to many publications of the time, vase of flowers was considered one of the most beautiful adornments for the home or the church.
Topic:
glass  Search this
vases  Search this
decorative arts  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
Victorian  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1986.007
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4506b10dd-70d2-4c3e-af31-20f4923493b7
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1986.007