By Linda Lee
It’s the promise of a vase that brings happiness, if the recipients are gardeners, or throw wonderful dinner parties. Having a large selection of vases is inspiration to begin planning. And a wedding is an invitation to gift such people with interesting, unusual, even challenging vases. This selection includes everything from affordable multiples, a kitchen canister from a trendy newcomer, an engraved vase that is sure to please a traditional bride, and some others, like the above Egg Vase, that will surprise and we hope inspire gift givers.
Flower Power Daily has no financial arrangement with any of the vendors mentioned here. We just love them, and hope one of them will be right for you.
$26.50, and you are not only saving the planet, you are helping a community of 700 people in the Pardeshi slum in the red-light district in Mumbai climb out of poverty and become middle class citizens. Next year will be the 10th year of the project, and the year by which the women will achieve this goal. How? These paper sleeves are designed in the Netherlands by a graduate of the Eindhoven design school.
You need a vase? Just grab a bottle of the right height, fill it with water, and then put this paper sleeve over the bottle: instant vase. The sleeves come in a variety of colors and patterns. The women in Mumbai make them and package them for sale all over the world. The company is called Tiny Miracles. In the US they are sold by the Cool Decor Company in Miami.
M.C. Escher might have liked this glass vase. Filling and emptying might be confusing. But it’s lovely for a few stems of freesias, gracefull French tulips, blousy peonies. You can go minimalist or maximalist. It swings both ways. The Triu Vase, $225 at the MoMA Design Store.
Mondri Vase, inspired by Piet Mondrian. The clever vase can be used three ways, with one tall chamber (say for tulips), the nice yellow square, which is lovely for lisianthus, and a blue square for an armload of summer flowers. From the SFMoMA Museum Store, $100.
From Seguso in Brazil a hand-blown Crimson Column vase, 10.25 inches high, $65; it weighs almost two pounds.
Orrefors was a glassworks in Smaland in Sweden. Note the word “was.” It closed in 2012. But there are still beautiful Orrefors crystal vases, like this one, called the Glacial Vase, which comes in three sizes. Like the Three Bears, we think the one in the middle is just right, a little under 10 inches tall, $250 from Neiman Marcus.
From Established & Sons, the distinctly Un-establishment group of designers in London, this is from a group of Storage Containers they believe look like space capsules. Because of the sunny color, we thing this would look grand in the kitchen filled with tulips, daisies, jonquils, hyacinth, and later in the year, of course, sun flowers. 7 inches tall, and somewhat heavy. $150.
Bunny Williams‘ tall flared porcelain vase, 17 1/2 inches tall, both modern and classic: $150 from Ballard Designs.
One of the first designs (1997) by the rascally Marcel Wanders, the Egg Vase – sold in a set of three, one 4 inches tall, and two 5.7 inches tall but a different diameter – was created by filling a condom with hard-boiled eggs. It could be considered a modern update of the Alvar Aalto Savoy vase, inspire by a dropped pair of Eskimo women’s leather pants. The three-vase set, unglazed on the outside and glazed on the inside, is $235 from Gabriel Ross. The vase is in the ceramics collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
If you have deep pockets, and the friend getting married is just so trendy, this is the vase for them. Blown Away Vase, from Moooi, another Marcel Wanders company, is $599 from Houzz. Put it on a table by a window with a spray of orchids and it’s a work of art. Worth $1,103 for the joke? It depends on whether or not you work in finance or Silicon Valley. It does hold water.
You could call this the circle in the square, but the official title is the Square Ribbon Vase, from the MoMA Design Store, $55 for nonmembers.
The Margarita Garland ceramic vase is made by Lilyan Benecke in Antigua, Guatemala.
It is 11 inches high, and would look spectacular filled with sunny tulips or daffodils, a summer bouquet, zinnias or dahlias. $119 from Novica, which sells artisan items in conjunction with the National Geographic Society and Unicef.
Circa 1685 London Delftware Blue and White Flower Vase, $2,900, from 1st Dibs. Don’t be afraid of 1st Dibs. The dealers there want to sell things, even to you, a regular person, not solely to antiques dealers. They won’t bite.
Etsy is full of fun, affordable ceramic vases under $100. This one, in a kicky turquoise, is $76 and also comes in a spirited yellow.
A set of six, also available in white, although not handmade: Ceramic bud vases, 3.5 inches tall, $38.50 from Chive.
Nothing could be more classic. Vera Wang for Wedgwood, by Things Remembered. And the price is $80, including custom engraving. The turnaround is really fast.
This is from Nendo, a Japanese company, and called Dress Up Vase because of its frilly collar. From one of my favorite online stores, GretelHome. It is 5.5 inches tall, $35. (Gretel Home is modern, but the frilly collar puts this in traditional.)
This is a sand-cast Iris and Morning Glory vase from Cynthia Myers studio in Mendocino, California. She sells bud vases for a reasonable $65 and takes commissions for works of art like this. If you have a special request – dolphins, peonies – talk to her.
These are probably too tall (22 inches) to put on the mantel, unless you have a way of making sure they will never fall over. The antiques dealer, the venerable Bardith on Madison Avenue (which would probably sell these to your decorator, who would then give them a hefty mark-up), specifies merely “Paris Porcelain Vases.” There is no date, but it is fair to say “old.” While the background may look black on your monitor, it is a deep cobalt blue, and the back of the vases is just as pretty as the front.
You are waiting for the price, aren’t you. Remember, this is for the pair. And they are 22 inches tall. $9,000.
The antiques dealers web site 1st Dibs always has treasures, and this is one. It’s called Intrinsinotopy I, a unique organic handmade vase made by Aurore Piette – “Craftswoman of the sea,” and if anyone can tell from the description whether it is carved from natural materials or made from materials “inspired” by nature beats me. She went to Central Saint Martins School in London, where she certainly learned to speak artist: she “offers to redefine the notions of making and craft by establishing neo rituals where nature as a manufacturer replaces the manufactured nature.” So there you have it. The vase is 10.6 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide at its widest point. Perhaps 1st Dibs could make things clearer. It is sold by the self-same Aurore, in France, for $1,800. The subtle colors would be spectacular with autumn’s pale peach asters and smaller dahlias. Or with dark calla lilies.
Linda Lee is a former editor at The New York Times. She was the deputy editor of the House & Home section, where she edited the garden column and she wrote frequently for the Styles section.