Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Trade catalog, Cokely's Wirework Catalog

Catalog Data

B. E. and J. T. Cokely  Search this
9 × 12 in. (22.9 × 30.5 cm)
Trade catalogs
ca. 1880-1920
Victorian (1837-1901)
Cokely's Wirework Catalog of over four hundred wire frame designs for floral arrangements. Advertised designs include the symbols for lodges, trade unions, civic clubs and other societies. B. E. and J. T. Cokely are listed as the owners of Cokley's in Scranton, Pennsylvania, advertised as the the 'largest manufacturers of floral wirework in the United States.'
Label Text:
Set pieces or set designs were among the most popular floral arrangements in the second half of the nineteenth century. The term set piece is a usually applied to designs in a wide variety of forms, which are often symbolic in character. Typical of the Victorian style, these designs were elaborate and massive. Set pieces were usually made up on wire frames in the desired shape, which acted as a foundation for the floral arrangement. Commercially produced, heavy-gaged wire frames, fabricated from either plain or copper-plated wire, became available for flower arrangements between 1860 and 1864. From the time they were introduced to the early 1900s, wire flower frame foundations for elaborate set piece designs were the basis of the retail floral industry. Wire flower frames were the product of the thriving iron industry and the ability to mass produce, which developed during the Industrial Revolution. They were constructed and sold by wire crafters who operated their own wirework businesses or by the wholesalers of florist supplies. Companies such as Cokely’s, Kellogg’s, Reed & Keller, and James Rasjik, among others were key to the development of these designs into increasingly novel shapes made available to a widespread audience. Hundreds of designs of floral frames were available and shown in catalogs, which were essential to success of wire works and their distribution. Flower frames designs were ordered for special celebrations, holidays, weddings, and funerals.
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
floriculture  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Funeral decorations  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  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