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Catalog Data

4 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. (10.8 × 4.4 cm)
Art Deco
Bouquet holders
Vases-Auto vases
Chester, England
ca. 1912-1913
Art Deco (ca.1908-1935)
Silver conical auto vase and chain. This auto vase is hexagonal with six unadorned sides and a point capped with a ball. A chain attaches at two points which allowed the vase to be hung in the car. The opening of the vase is round and much smaller than its size. This was likely a design choice to help keep the flowers secure in the vase.
Label Text:
The auto vase, a term coined by Henry Ford, began to appear in automobiles as early as 1895. These automobile accessories not only improved the smell, but also added a touch of elegance to any vehicle’s interior. Henry Ford was so pleased with these decorative “air-fresheners,” that he offered them in his parts department and added them to his system of mass production. An auto vase is comprised of a small bud vase with a bracket that allowed it to be mounted inside the car either on the dashboard or by the passenger side window. Vases came in many designs and colors and in a variety of price ranges. Pressed glass, cut crystal, metal, porcelain, ceramic, and even wood was used for the vases, and were often paired with brackets that were fancier than the vases themselves. These could be made of silver or even be gold plated. Auto vases were sold in jewelry stores, auto parts stores, and catalogs from companies such as Sears. By the 1930’s, with improvements in car batteries and air-conditioning becoming standard in vehicles, the auto vase was no longer necessary, and it faded out of use.
Country of Origin: Lion passant (England)
City/Region of Origin: 3 wheat sheaves on shield (Chester)
Date letter: script M (1912-1913)
Makers Mark: JD/WD
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Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Gift of Frances Jones Poetker.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens