6 Tulipiere Vases That Will Help You Recreate Some of Martha's Most Beautiful Arrangements
If you're looking for a unique way to display fresh cut flowers in your home, follow our founder's lead and use tulipiere vases to elevate your arrangements. Also known as tulip bowls, tulipiere vessels are ornate ceramic pieces featuring several different spouts that hold blooms (traditionally tulips) individually, all while each stem rests in the same shared water bowl.
The History of Tulipiere Vases
You can shop for many gorgeous iterations of tulipiere vases on the market today, but the pottery first originated in 1600s London during the "height of tulip mania," says Sarah Bruxvoort, owner and creative director of studio florist, Rose and Laurel, noting that the vases were initially used to grow tulips. "Bulbs were placed so a single bloom would grow from each spout," she says. Now, they are more commonly used for cut flowers.
When imagining how to style these intricate pieces, it helps to understand the original intention behind their design. "A lesser known historical fact about these vases is that the purpose of the tulipiere was to create the illusion of flowers growing in branches," say Stefan and Maegan Bucur, who specialize in both floral and interior design. "When stems were placed through [the spouts], the flowers were divided into multiple bouquets, which gave the impression of flower clusters growing in twigs." Some of the most coveted vases had up to 18 spouts—and, therefore, "branches"—total.
The Best Flowers to Arrange in Tulipiere Vases
Of course, as their name and history suggests, tulips are the classic flowers to display in these vessels. However, florists note that other blooms work, too. To achieve striking movement and structural lines, Bruxvoort recommends filling different spouts with a myriad of options, including Queen Anne's lace, sweet peas, garden roses, and cosmos. And when it comes to mixing and matching, our founder especially loves combining tulips with viburnum and muscari—see the above photo for inspiration.
Poynter's favorite flowers for tulipiere vases are ranunculus—you can style them in so many ways. "They have a gorgeous petal count and a variety of colors that give you so many options," she says. And if you want to stick with tulips, Poynter reminds us that you can incorporate a few different varieties for visual interest. "Parrot and double frilled are a few of my favorites," she says.
Where to Shop for Tulipiere Vases
Depending on your preferred style, you can shop for these vases in antique stores—or look online for newer models. "Traditionally, tulipiere vases were made of Delftware and painted blue and white in the shape of a pagoda," says Mary Delia Poynter of M. Delia Designs for Lucy's Market, referencing the popular earthenware that was created as a less expensive alternative to porcelain.
Martha incorporates these vintage pieces into many of her own floral arrangements (see the above video!), but you can still find more contemporary glass styles in her collection, too (she recently documented several of these prized pieces on Instagram). If your preferred aesthetic leans modern, shop for newer tulipiere vases that were designed to suit more of-the-moment styles and shapes, Poynter says.