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Increasingly rare to find, Victorian hyacinth vases are both elegant and functional for forcing indoor hyacinth bulbs. This beautiful teal-coloured  Victorian squat bulbous vase would have been made in the mid 1800's as a reproduction of the original ‘Tay vases’ made by George Tay of Bristol. The bulbous vase preceded the original tall churn ones and became more popular with the Victorians.


Hand-blown vases are particularly charming as their tiny imperfections such as little bubbles and asymmetry imbue them with so much character, which is only enhanced as the bulb grows slowly within it and the two things become one lovely whole. As popularity for bulb-forcing grew with the Victorians, forcers were made by a small collection of glass manufacturers in moulds to meet demand.    


Bulb forcing flower started but it probably dates back to the 1700’s in Holland during the ‘Tulipmania’ period. Although the original forcing bulb were tulips, hyacinths became fashionable during the 18th century and took over from the tulip. Glass and bulbs were expensive and so were only grown only by the aristocracy but with their growing popularity during the 19th century, the price of bulbs and vases came down and the middle classes could afford to force hyacinths at home. The 1800’s saw a wide range of vases, blocks and forcers being made for bulb forcing which remained popular for decades until a steady decline during the 1900’s due to the increasing availability of ready-to-flower hyacinths, the lack of a cool locations in the home (due to central heating) and the overwhelming diversity of imported flowers and plants.


Packaged up in a recyclable box with a prepared hyacinth bulb and growing instructions, this hyacinth forcer makes a very special present. Couriered overnight.   

Victorian glass hyacinth forcer vase - teal


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