Fancy Florals

By Karen Parr-Moody


Certain motifs come to mind when one thinks of vintage items: I imagine Greek keyhole prints and scrolled damask. But throughout the ages it is floral motif that seem to supersede all others. It seems designers and artisans are perennially inspired by nature’s creations.


The Bristol vases, right, seem to have taken a vignette straight from the garden. Manufactured in the late 1800s, Victorian Bristol glass is known for its hand-painted botanical motifs, such as the flowers on these vases. The fast-growing middle-class homeowners of the Victorian era proudly displayed such wares, including vases, perfume bottles and lamps, in their homes.


Such glass took on the name of Bristol glass from the town of Bristol, England, which was a major glassmaking hub in the 17th and 18th centuries. Even though the paint-decorated glass wares of the Victorian era bear only a passing resemblance to works made a century earlier in Bristol, the name was still adopted by future generations of collectors.


What elegance is to be found in a cane-back barrel chair with a neoclassical leg, as is seen in the photo, left ($85; Booth B-2012). It has been upholstered with a vintage floral fabric that reminds me of something Dorothy Draper would have used for the Greenbrier Hotel. This pattern would work well in a variety of settings to bring a spark of chic to a room.


With the pattern aptly called “The Bouquet,” these 12 dinner plates of Myott Staffordshire are like a secret garden for the china cabinet (photo, below right; $240 Booth B-219). The maker, Son & Co., was founded in 1898 in the world-famous location for pottery and china, Staffordshire, England. These plates have gold rims and a green-and-yellow pattern edge. The bouquet includes tulips, roses and poppies.


This floral compote, below left, is another beautiful piece from Monarch Antiques, Booth B-219 ($72.95). The dealer’s best guess is that the compote is from the Bavaria region and dates to the early 1900s. It is lovely, wherever it is from.


The flowers are blooming outside right now, but by getting some floral items at GasLamp, the flowers will bloom indoors all year. And whether they are found in china or furniture or something else, there is certainly a bouquet for everyone.

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