Home & Garden

November 3, 2012

Vintage plant stands command high prices

Starting in about 1885, plants were among the decorations in a house because central heating kept homes — and plants — warm in the winter, and glass windows let light into most homes. Only a small group of plants were popular, partly because of the look of the foliage, partly because they could tolerate the dry air of the home. Boston ferns, Maidenhead ferns, palms, jasmine, citrus trees, aspidistra and mother-in-law tongue’s (sansevieria) were most common. A houseplant required a large decorative pot, so ceramic jardinieres consisting of a pedestal and bowl were made by many companies like Roseville and Weller. Wooden pedestals to hold potted plants were made by Victorian cabinetmakers like Mitchell & Rammelsberg of Cincinnati, and companies like Bradley and Hubbard of Meriden, Conn., made metal plant stands. Because fewer plant stands were made than more common furniture forms like chairs, it is hard to find an interesting vintage stand. Prices are high.

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