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Catalog Data

Geramic, glaze
1 9/16 × 13 × 1 9/16 in. (4 × 33 × 4 cm)
Frogs (flower arrangement)
Early twentieth century
White ceramic semi-circle flower holder. It has an open interior from top and raised pattern. This crescent shaped flower frog is part of an “Anglais” table decoration. It was promoted as a simple and useful method for arranging flowers in an artistic table decoration in the early 1900s. It could be aligned with other straight or curved sections of the same proportions and adapted to any desired form or size table. These were considered especially suited to thicker stems such as tulips and lilies.
Label Text:
The flower frog, also called the flower block, flower brick, flower holder, and floral arranger was a useful tool for flower design which would keep stems in place, as well as allowing access to the water source in vases as well as shallow containers. Before the invention of floral foam in the mid-twentieth century, many objects and materials were used to secure flowers in an arrangement. Chicken wire, sawdust, moss, clay, and pine needles were all possible options, but the invention of flower frogs made it easier to create symmetrical or free-flowing designs for both the professional and amateur floral artist. Example of flower frogs date back to the sixteenth century and as early as the 1870s many types, such as the dome, cage, loop, ‘Anglais’, ‘Japana’, and pin flower holders, were manufactured in the United States. Flower frogs reached the height of their popularity in the 1920s and 1930s and came in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the constraints of the display and containers. They could be decorative or entirely utilitarian and were typically made of glass, ceramic, or metal. Many were designed in whimsical shapes such as frogs, fish, hearts, and even gnomes. The utilitarian shapes include cages, pins, domes, or multiple tiers that allowed for more complex displays. Frogs could also be paired with or included connections for accessories such as a candle or figurine. Florists were instructed to keep a variety of sizes and kinds on hand that were suited to the container and size and structure of the stems used in a design.
ceramic  Search this
Frogs (flower arrangement)  Search this
flowers (plants)  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