“When a single bloom says so much, why not highlight it in a vase that’s equally elegant?” – Martha Stewart

Displaying cut flowers in a vase is a practice that dates back for centuries; there is evidence through painting and sculpture that during the Old Kingdom (c.2686–c. 2160 bce) the Egyptians placed flowers in vases. Prior to this, in 3100 BC, ambassadors from Crete were believed to have brought gifts of silver vases to the pharaohs of Egypt.


There are of course many different styles of vases; flared, cube, cylindrical, narrow neck and the bud vase style. One of the most elegant styles of vase is the bud vase. Bud vases are used primarily for holding small groups of flowers.


Bud Vase

It is difficult to state clearly exactly when the bud vase emerged as style of its own. We can speculate, however, that the bud vase became popular in the early 18th Century. In France around this time, cultural and social life centred in the intimate rooms of Parisian town houses. Bouquets, therefore, were comparatively small, to be in scale with their setting. With Paris being incredibly influential concerning what styles become popular, it could be fair to pinpoint the appearance of the bud vase to this period and setting.


The bud vase is a small, narrow vase with the purpose of holding a single flower or small bouquet, usually young flowers and buds in the early spring. However, they can also be used to exhibit single stems of magnificent, eye-catching, even aromatic flowers, such as roses and other elegant blooms. Bud vases are best used to display smaller cuttings from the garden like geraniums, daisies and freesias, or to display a single, favourite flower.


Enamel Bud vase

The design of the bud vase can vary dramatically. A bud vase can be short or tall, but typically the neck of the vase is relatively narrow- perfect for holding the aforementioned arrangements. Some bud vases are designed in the classical vase shape with a narrow neck and a bulbous base (the purpose of which is to stabilise the vase and keep it from falling over). The materials used to make a bud vase include: porcelain, ceramic, plastic, crystal, glass and silver. It was the Victorian era specifically when it became popular to use silver and sterling silver to craft the bud vase; this coincided with the fashionable Victorian pursuit of displaying wealth and status through objects and decoration.


Written by

Rachel Atkinson

Rachel is AC Silver's Digital Assistant helping the website and marketing team with many digital tasks including blog post creation and social media assignments.