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Catalog Data

Albumen(?) prints, linen, cardboard
Album: 4 1/2 × 7 × 3 in. (11.4 × 17.8 × 7.6 cm)
Photographs: 3 1/2 × 4 1/2 in. (8.9 × 11.4 cm)
Albums (photographs)
ca. 1880-1920
Victorian (1837-1901)
Album of funerary floral wire frame photographs. The album is handbound with string and features albumen prints mounted on linen. The photographs are of funerary, wire frame, floral arrangements in the shape of wreathes, crosses, pillows, a star, an anchor, harps, a clock, a scale, among others.
Label Text:
When placing orders for flower arrangements in the second-half of the nineteenth century, customers often had to trust the florist because shops usually only had loose flowers, wire frames, and baskets on hand to help the customer envision an arrangement for a wedding, funeral, or special occasion. A useful method for florists of selling floral designs was through picture albums or published books, which contained photographs and artistic renderings of floral designs taken from trade publications or photographs of their own finished pieces. When customers did not know what they wanted, the florist could flip through the pages to show them appropriate options for occasion. Albums gave the customers an idea of the size and impact of a design, as well as to choose which varieties and colors of flowers were wanted for the arrangement. The pictures in florists’ albums could inspire the new combinations or arrangements or serve as a reference for the florist to reproduce. They were also clever marketing tool, helping the florist coax a customer into buying more elaborate floral designs than they might have imaged. Design albums were also useful to the florist in order to gage the types, sizes, and quantities of flowers needed for a design to better estimate its cost for the patron. Albums as well as images on the internet are still used today by floral retailers.
Mounted on linen, mounted on cardboard
1900-1920  Search this
19th century  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
Flowers  Search this
Funeral decorations  Search this
Horticulture  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