Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine SP 15

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C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 83 which definitely influenced the female flower frog design. Floral frogs can be traced back to the 16th century in Europe. In the US, the oldest known patent for such a frog was issued in 1875. In 1916, William R. Struck of Dazey Manufacturing patented the first metal cage flower frog. These little cages were the dominant type of flower frogs used by both professional and amateur flo- ral artists until 1953, when Oasis was invented. This water absorbent foam developed by Vernon Smithers nearly drove the metal cage flower frogs to extinction and is the preferred method used by florists to date. The clear glass rounds can easily be found in antique shops and fairs for under $10. The rarer signed pottery frogs by renowned pottery mak- ers range from $40-195, metal needle points can be owned for as little as a few dollars to $75 for the hard-to-find kenzan combined with metal swirls. The hinged lead turtle and the bronze dragon are valued at $500 each. An "Antiques Roadshow" from Detroit showed a Rosenthal earthenware flower holder designed by Ferdinand Lieberman in the 1920s, valued at $2000. It was of a faun (a mythological creature) sitting on a column talking to a white goose. It comes in two pieces and is large enough to be a table centerpiece. It's absolutely exquisite. Years later, I opened an architectural garden gallery called Terra Cotta. There in a locked weathered green cabinet sat my hard-earned collection of some 150 vintage flower frogs to be enjoyed merely as a display. As the age-old art of ikebana and floral arranging were now obsolete, their roles dimin- ished, it was now my guilty pleasure to watch customers press their noses against my glass, wishing they could own pieces from this "very- not-for-sale" collection. Marjorie Snow is a published writer and pho- tographer with a vast knowledge of antiques and their history. Snow was the owner of Terra Cotta in Las Vegas, an exclusive architectural vintage gallery, which was featured in numerous West Coast magazines.

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