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Catalog Data

4 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. (10.8 × 4.4 cm)
Cemetery vases
ca. 1890-1920
Trumpet-shaped cemetery holder of brass. The vase is unornamented and flares out at the top. Wire has been connected and twisted downward from the base and bent into a loop and sealed. Four smaller loops of wire have been added to circle.
Label Text:
The popularity of visiting the cemetery and decorating loved one’s graves with flowers in Victorian times inspired the invention of the cemetery vase in the 1890s. A vast improvement over the bottles and tin cans that had been used for holding flowers previously. The first cemetery vases were made of glass, but metal vases treated with weather-resistant paint soon surpassed them because of they were durable and inexpensive. Attached to the bottom of these conical vases was a long metal spike that could be easily inserted into the ground, which kept the vase securely in place and upright. Iron-reservoir cemetery vases were sold by florists and some cemeteries, and they were the most popular container for Memorial Day flowers from 1897 to 1919. They were widely used in cemeteries, except during World War I and II when Uncle Sam needed the metal for the war effort. During these hiatuses, tomato cans with a hole drilled in the bottom through which a wire was inserted to secure the vase in the ground were used instead.
bouquet holders  Search this
brass (alloy)  Search this
vases  Search this
cemeteries  Search this
commemoratives  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
funerals  Search this
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