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Catalog Data

Sliver-plated copper, satin, chenille, chiffon beads
15 3/4 × 12 × 2 1/4 in. (40 × 30.5 × 5.7 cm)
Artificial flowers and trees
Victorian (1837-1901)
A framed handmade spray of crewel flowers. The flowers represented include white roses, white zinnias, red camellia, strawberries, and strawberry blossoms, as well as white grapes (possibly). The leaves have a fine and subtle color modulation. The fabric floral arrangement of is made of chenille, chiffon, and pearl-like beads applied and embroidered onto beige satin drawn around oval metal backing. The oval shadowbox frame is made of metal with a silver finish.
Label Text:
To beautify their homes, ladies engaged in handicrafts known as “fancywork.” Ornaments with floral motifs were created out of all kinds of materials, from beads to feathers to human hair. Artificial flowers have a long history. They were made by the ancient Chinese and the Greeks. For centuries, artificial flowers have been made from pottery, enamel, metal, feathers, paper, and many other materials. Creating artificial flowers is a meticulous art form. Every petal, stem, leaf, and stamen must be cut, shaped, painted, and carefully assembled by hand. Some are designed to be arranged in a bowl or vase for display and others to be worn. Part of the appeal of artificial flowers is their permanence and unblemished beauty. Arrangements were often preserved in shadow boxes or under glass domes. By the early 1800s, the availability and versatility of glass made it possible to better display and protect souvenirs and memorabilia. The Victorians love of nature was celebrated as decorative arts under the glass.
Artificial flowers  Search this
crafts  Search this
crewelwork  Search this
decorative arts  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Shadow boxes  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