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Catalog Data

Copper wire
23 × 14 in. (58.4 × 35.6 cm)
Floral frames
ca. 1860-1940
Victorian (1837-1901)
Wire frame trellis in the shape of a shield. The trellis has two wire legs, which could be inserted into the soil to keep it upright. It is in the form of a shield with three points. Two vertical supports extend the length of the piece as well as two diagonals creating an “X” shape. At the top and bottom of the verticals are decorative shapes, and the middle has five rings attached across it starting from the left wall. This design is featured in the catalogue of M. Walker & Sons, of Philadelphia, PA as figure 35.
Label Text:
A trellis is an open framework or latticed structure made of interwoven wood, bamboo, or metal for the cultivation and display of climbing plants and shrubs. There are many types of trellis suited to different plants, locations, and purposes, from agricultural pursuits such as growing grapes, to purely decorative garden features for growing plants such as ivy or climbing roses. Trellises can be free standing or attached and are made in a variety of forms including cones, spheres, fans, tree forms, geometric shapes, arches, turrets, and railings. Most commonly they are made in a lozenge type lattice pattern; however, various shapes and combinations are also made. Trellises have long been used in the garden to create internal barriers, structures, shaded areas of secluded spots. They were place against buildings or fences to create the illusion of walls made of vegetation.
Trellises have been used in the garden as far back as ancient Roman times and were a popular feature of the Victorian garden. In the Victorian era, roses, ivy, passionflowers, morning glory, grapevines, and shrubs in espalier were popular trellis subjects. When attached gallery facades and columns of structures they were decorative features that appealed to the Victorian love of nature, however they could also be useful. In the days before air conditioning, placing a trellis over a window was a popular way to gain privacy when the window was open while allowing the air to flow through the room. Furthermore, when the sun shone through the backs of the leaves it revealed their veins and structure which appealed to the Victorian’s rapt interest in the horticultural sciences and botany. Trellises were also used indoors to train vines to grow around the curves of the window and brought the outdoors inside.
emblems (symbols)  Search this
Floral frames  Search this
frame components  Search this
trellises  Search this
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associations  Search this
ceremonies  Search this
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Floral Accessories  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
floral designers  Search this
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gardening  Search this
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Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
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See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens