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Catalog Data

Wool, wire, velvet, walnut
17 1/2 × 20 in. (44.5 × 50.8 cm)
Artificial flowers and trees
United States
ca. 1860
Victorian (1837-1901)
A framed handmade wreath of wool flowers. The flowers are green, white, red, blue, and pink. They are wired together with green wool leaves in the shape of a victor’s wreath, which is an elongated circle that may or may not join at the top. The wreath is contained in a shadowbox on a black velvet ground with a walnut frame with a gold inner border.
Label Text:
To beautify their homes, ladies engaged in handicrafts known as “fancywork.” Ornaments with floral motifs were created out of all kinds of materials, from beads to feathers to human hair. Artificial flowers have a long history. They were made by the ancient Chinese and the Greeks. For centuries, artificial flowers have been made from pottery, enamel, metal, feathers, paper, and many other materials. Creating artificial flowers is a meticulous art form. Every petal, stem, leaf, and stamen must be cut, shaped, painted, and carefully assembled by hand. Some are designed to be arranged in a bowl or vase for display and others to be worn. Part of the appeal of artificial flowers is their permanence and unblemished beauty. Arrangements were often preserved in shadow boxes or under glass domes. By the early 1800s, the availability and versatility of glass made it possible to better display and protect souvenirs and memorabilia. The Victorians love of nature was celebrated as decorative arts under the glass.
Shadow boxes  Search this
wool (textile)  Search this
Artificial flowers  Search this
crafts  Search this
decorative arts  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