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Catalog Data

3 7/8 × 1 3/4 in. (9.8 × 4.4 cm)
Art Nouveau
Vases-Auto vases
ca. 1890-1940
Art Nouveau (1890-1910)
Cast, clear-glass vase in pear shape, with a swirled design. Wrapped wire twisted around the neck.
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.
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Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Gift of Frances Jones Poetker.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens