It is a rising and curious trend to start collecting flower frogs. These come in many different forms and shapes but it's most important to recognize that the majority are a product of the Depression-Era. Nearly 85 years later these iconic symbols of industrial design can pop up anywhere from garage sales to antique flea markets. Often overlooked and assumed to be a pencil holder these pieces can be sold for as little as fifty cents to the unknowing. However, as trends continue in their favor these pieces can be more accurately priced upwards of $20 each simply for nostalgia sake. So if you happen upon a good find take advantage of it.
The collection below was recently gifted to the studio from a dear friend whom has been a part of so many wonderful moments. We have managed to keep in touch for many years and only seem to have the chance to meet up in random cities along the way. The best part of it all is she is also the marvelous mother of a dear circus friend and groom to be this Fall during Halloween week. I am so excited to be a part of this wedding. When a ballet dancer falls for a flying trapeze artist you are left with exceptional taste and an exciting concept of movement in design. It is going to be a lovely week of celebration and a whirlwind trip to Boston!
As you can see these are mostly glass with a couple ceramics mixed in. All of the different shapes and sizes are interesting enough but some are designed to rest at the bottom of the vase while others sit upon the rim of the container. These styles are preferred when working with thick stems such as tulips, agapanthus, zinnia, etc...
Other types of Flower Frogs not pictured above are made of bronze or iron square cages while some are simply a heavy lead disc covered with many fine pointed tines.
This type of frog is more often recommended for use with woody stems and branches. Often seen as a mechanic used in Ikebana design when using low shallow containers. Despite their heavy nature many designers use an adhesive to secure the frog to the bottom of the container. A bit of advice when using this style is to cover the frog tightly with panty hose so the tines pierce thru the hosiery. This will allow for easy cleaning by removing the hosiery when finished. These tines will take a bite out of anything and it is very difficult to clean thoroughly at the bottom.
Along with many other vintage and antique utilitarian pieces the flower frog has made a strong appearance on Etsy.com and at many craft fairs such as Crafty Bastard, etc. At these venues they can be found and repurposed as anything from pen holders to picture mounts. In addition to these common uses many DIY crafters are finding them useful as place card holders for event seating, earring mounts on vanities, or simply a trending way to display a business card.
Happy hunting if you are out prowling the antique markets. Look closely they are often in a box under a table that is littered with oddities like ceramic sculptures of Porky the Pig and Taxidermy Squirrels.