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Catalog Data

4 3/16 × 4 1/2 in. (10.6 × 11.4 cm)
ca. 1905
Victorian (1837-1901)
Pair of vases of pressed, translucent aqua glass in form of a cornucopia basket with opalescent, light blue at top edge and handles. The base is slightly raised on edges and in the center. The upper part of the base is multifaceted, like piled rocks. The receptacle is in the shape of a cornucopia, with small scrolled in nests, and the mouth opens wide upward. Mold ridge marks go up short sides, and the exterior surface of basket has a raised pattern. The rim is scalloped, with a pair of handles on applied on the long sides. Glass basket designs were also popular for the dinner table in the Victorian household.
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.
glass  Search this
vases  Search this
decorative arts  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Victorian  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