Victorian Flower Pot in Etrusco-Egyptian Design for the Dinner Table

This Victorian flower pot design is from Cassell's Household Guide: being a complete encyclopaedia of domestic and social economy and forming a guide to every department of practical life,1869. Edited for use on this site.

Victorian Etrusco-Egyptian Flower Pot
Click on picture to see more Victorian flower pot detail.

The fashion, now so general, of using growing plants as ornaments for the dinner-table has led to the manufacture of various baskets and vases, some of silver and some of china, in which to place them so as to conceal the flower-pot in which they have been raised, and which would be somewhat unsightly if left uncovered.

By those who do not possess either silver or china vases, the Etrusco-Egyptian flower-pot, of which we give an illustration, will be found a simple and pretty substitute.

Directions for Making A Victorian Flower Pot
in Etrusco-Egyptian Design

A common flower-pot must be selected, of sufficient size to allow that in which the plant is growing to stand within it ; and it is then painted with two or three coats of light red oil-paint, to be procured at any oil and colour shop. The material of which the flower-pot is composed being a porous one, it will absorb a good deal of paint; hence the necessity for giving it two or three coats of light red, each coat being allowed to dry thoroughly before the next is applied, a rather fine brush being used, so as to give as smooth a surface as possible to the work.

Victorian Etrusco-Egyptian figures
Click on picture to see more detail.

This being done and perfectly dry, some Egyptian designs, such as those given in the illustrations are painted upon the flower-pot, with a fine camel-hair brush, in ivory-black; but for this, the colour sold in tubes at an artist's colourman's should be used.

Victorian Etrusco-Egyptian figure
Click on picture to see more detail.

The best way of doing it is to place the flower-pot on its side, with a heavy book on each side of it to keep it steady, and bringing it near the edge of the table, to use a painter's resting-stick to steady the hand, as the designs should be steadily and sharply done. They may be outlined in pencil or white chalk, to ensure precision and firmness in the painting.

The saucer should also be ornamented in like manner.

It is found that a larger design for the centre and smaller ones dotted over the plain ground, have a better effect than if subjects all of the same size be used, as they bear a closer resemblance to the vases which they are intended to imitate. Thus, in every flower-pot there should be one large design on each side, the rest being filled in with smaller ones.

Any illustrated work on Egypt will give a variety of figures and animals suitable for the purpose, when those we now publish have been copied. Should other colours and styles be preferred, they may be used for this purpose; thus, for instance, on a dark brown ground a bouquet of flowers, or a group of figures in bright colours would have a good effect.

The plants may, of course, be grown in these flower-pots, but the frequent watering, and the constant dampness of the earth, in connection with the porous nature of the pots, is apt to cause the paint to peel off, therefore we advise their use as outer vases only.

They form very pretty ornaments for the drawing-room, as well as for the dinner-table.

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