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Catalog Data

Plant material
36 × 1 7/8 in. (91.4 × 4.8 cm)
Dried flower arrangements
Costume accessories
Belt, Woven Seeds: strings of seeds in diamond and circle pattern with dried flowers attached at front. Belt made of woven seeds. Seeds said to be fatal is eaten. Color is burnt orange.
Label Text:
In the nineteenth century, a popular lady’s pastime was creating excellent bouquets, wreaths and ornaments made from dried ornamental grasses and flowers known as “immortelles” or “everlastings”. Commercially-produced ornamental grasses and everlasting flowers were sold by the bunch, pound or hundred by florists and in catalogs. They were good for winter months when fresh flowers were limited, and they were in high demand for decorative purposes around holidays. Flowers, cones, pods, acorns, seeds, mosses, and ornamental grasses were often collected and dried, later to be arranged into winter bouquets, crafted into holiday displays, and preserved in shadow boxes or under glass domes. Dried flower arrangements were used as mementos of friendships and loved ones from bouquets and wreaths from graves. Periodicals noted how funeral flowers might be preserved to serve as an everlasting memorial by being waxed or dried. Flowers memorials, such as dried flowers from funeral bouquets, were often saved and kept in shadow boxes or in glass cases. These mementos from the funeral service became part of elaborate memorial shrines in the parlor of many middle-class homes. By the early 1800s, the availability and versatility of glass made it possible to better display and protect souvenirs and memorabilia. Behind glass, the Victorians were able to exhibit artfully arranged dried floral arrangements and mementos saved from special occasions such as bouquets from a wedding or funeral. The Victorians love of nature was also celebrated as decorative arts under the glass.
belts (costume accessories)  Search this
costume accessories  Search this
decorative arts  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