The Victorian Era 1837-1901

Queen Victoria, 1882, Photograph by Alexander Bassano

In British history, the Victorian era was the Period of Queen Victoria’s reign which began in 1837 until her death in January 1901.

This era was widely recognized as a long period of peace, prosperity, and national self confidence for Britain
The Victorian age was characterized by rapid change and developments in nearly every sphere, from advances in medicine, and changes in population growth.

This era was widely recognized as being the romantic era, especially in the world of flowers.

The language of flowers!

The meaning and language of flowers become increasingly popular. Throughout this time frame Victorian women especially picked up this silent language that allowed them to communicate feelings and meanings that the strict propriety of the times would not allow.

In 1884 a whole book was published on the subject entitled the language of flowers. Many have been published since with many different meanings for each flower now existing.

Small nosegays were often carried by Victorian ladies, made up of both flowers and scented herbs, along with secret messages the herbs helped to hide the smell often associated with poor hygiene.

A Tussie-Mussie

Victorian Tussie Mussie, Credit: Hubpages

The Tussie-Mussie  was  used primarily during the Victorian Era and considered art forms as each one was unique. The vase or cone could be made from pewter, cobalt glass, silver, gold, porcelain, plastic and even beaded. Tussie-Mussies were small handheld fragrant bouquets often wrapped in lace doilies. Most often, they were a combination of fragrant herbs; each had its own meaning and a single central flower. Great care was taken to combine the selection in such a way that its meaning was accurately expressed. Tussie-Mussies were also known as nosegays.
Victorian Era Flowers

Although still limited some typical flowers of the era included, asters, anemone, broom, campanula, carnations, clover, daffodil, daisy, fern, jasmine, honeysuckle, lilac, lily of the valley, calla lily, marigold, myrtle, roses, sweet pea, sweet William, wheat, willow, delphinium, and some early varieties of stock.

Of course many of these we use today, especially in the recent years where the trend has been to recreate the look of the flowers used in this beautiful era.


Stay Inspired

 Are you looking for some inspiration for a specific era? Look for a flower painter who lived at that time! For example Paul de Longpré (1855–1911), a French flower painter, represents Victorian Era. Click here to see his paintings.

 You could also check our Pinterest Board “Victorian Vintage Flowers” for inspiration.

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One Response

  • Hi. I really liked that piece of advice at the end of the article. It seems so simple now that you mention looking for a painter from that time period to get inspiration from that era. If it ever comes up in a wedding consultation, I will know what to do!

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