Its cold out today, minus something here in the county. I am blessed to be inside where it is warm, writing and sorting through another pile of stuff from a recent estate. As I sorted I came across a large collection of planters (plant pots, jardinieres) that has originated in the back shed of this estate. There was quite a range, from earlier porcelain to modern plastic, from used to bought in anticipation of spring. MMMM Spring...
The definition for Jardiniere is not straightforward, most of us know it as an ornamental plant stand, however it has many other meanings. Add an accent here or there and you may be referencing a type of vegetable arrangement, a restaurant, a component of a French stew and more. However, based upon my want for spring, the plant pot definition is the what I am most focused on.
Originally used to hold posies (e,g., flowers), a jardiniere would be a large piece while its counterpart, cachepot, would be more of the apartment owner (shelf) size. In the antique business the word jardiniere is used incorrectly quite often. A plant pot is more accurately a cachepot, while a larger stand (floor model if you would) is the jardiniere.
In the 18th century the world was still being explored regularly. New areas were found often and unexplored territories meant new plants, animals and more. This is the period when house plants came into vogue. The new plants being brought back by the explorers needed something to house them for display. The Cachepot or jardiniere was the best option, depending on the size of your home. Larger homes would house jardinieres on decks and entry ways, while smaller dwellings would simply have a cachepot.
The jardiniere or cachepot was made from many different mediums, porcelain being the one most seen today. Porcelain could be decorated while being fired, could be multicolored and could hold different glazes. This simply made it the choice for decorating. Brass and other mediums certainly were used, but some of the most beautiful pieces are in porcelain, in my opinion.
When I started in antiques Roseville pottery was sought after by every dealer I knew. That is not the case these days, although it is still a great collectible. I can recall going to auction after auction chasing larger (jardiniere or large pot) pieces for shops or shows. Today we can purchase these same pieces, albeit not made in Ohio by the famous potters, at Walmart, Tractor supply and almost every lawn sale. So how does one differentiate from modern to old, from valuable to worthless? The simplest way is through the mark on the base of the pot. This mark usually identifies the potter, the studio or the overall company that made it.
No mark, no problem. Look at the glaze, look at the wear on the base. Does the item show lots of wear? If so it is older, no wear can certainly be an indication that this is a modern piece. However, unless you are specifically collecting older jardinieres, would a new piece not fill the void? A nice jardiniere or cachepot can liven a room with color, add beauty through the plant in it and bring conversation forth simply by being in the space.
The chipped or cracked jardiniere is still worth owning, mostly because it can usually be purchased at a discount and has no flaw beyond the chip. The chipped side can always face the wall and in the end this vessel simply holds a plant so a chip should not matter to the user, to the collector it does of course.
Here is hoping Spring is around the corner for all of you. Come visit us downtown, at a live auction or online. We offer online auctions, live auctions, estate clean-outs and advice (sometimes it even is right) .
HOULTON STAMP, COIN & PAWN