Hi there! My flower frog collection began accidentally. I had been selling glass and metal frogs for years, but one day, I discovered that I had four pin-types in my inventory in graduating sizes. When I set them on top of each other, they made a flower frog “tree.” And so they found a home on my desk, and I keep a couple of business cards tucked in the pins on the tippy top frog. Gradually I began to add to those and now I have an actual collection, though they are scattered around the house. They are a pleasure to look at, to hold, and to use; I highly recommend them to you if you’ve not yet discovered their charm and their functionality.
A question I am often asked is, “Where did the name ‘flower frog’ come from?” It appears that the origin of this phrase is lost to us, but some have suggested that since both flower frogs and live frogs sit in water, that may be the story behind the name. It works for me, but what do you think?
The many collectors of flower frogs would agree that they make a wonderful collection for many reasons. They are small, so they don’t take up a lot of room when on display. They are made of many different materials, come in a variety of colors, and at the high end are exquisitely designed. And they are functional–both for the purpose they were made–flower arranging, and for many others, like holding business cards or useful items like scissors or pencils. Let’s look at the three main categories: glass, metal, and ceramic.
The round glass flower frogs reflect a simple design, but they nonetheless hold great appeal. They come in multiple colors and sizes. Place one at the bottom of a vase or bowl and then slip your stems into the holes. Instead of your blooms clumping together on one side of your vase, the frog allows you to arrange them nicely. Use special floral clay to adhere your frog to the bottom of your vessel. The pale green one you see here, which had some minor chipping, sold from my Etsy shop for $8.99 (2014).
This large amber example, which I purchased in England, sold from my Etsy shop for $14.99 (2014).
This large, black frog sold from my antique booth for $12.00 (2016).
Round, “pin-type” flower frogs like these are perhaps the easiest to find while out vintage shopping, and the least costly. The smallest versions (3/4″) are the rarest and therefore the most valuable (around $15.00), while the other, more plentiful sizes are less so ($8-10.00). They are especially ideal for composing simple, oriental designs and can “hold onto” larger, more reedy stems, if necessary.
Green examples sell for slightly more than their unpainted cousins.The same is generally true for copper-colored ones, too.
This pin frog design is quite interesting. It comes apart, as shown, or it can be reconnected, depending upon the size and shape of the vessel you plan to use it in. It sold from my Etsy shop for $14.99 (2014).
Finding a frog, mint-in-package, provided some interesting background on these products for “gracious living,” for example, the base is made of brass, which explains why it won’t rust. This one dates to the 1970’s, and it sold from my Etsy shop for $9.99 (2014).
The back reminds the user to adhere the frog to the bottom of your vessel with a bit of florist’s clay–always a good idea to keep if from slipping and sliding around.
With its balanced layering of petals and perfect shade of green, this little lotus flower is a piece of art. I sold to a fellow blogger for $9.99 (2014).
Known as a “hairpin” flower frog, this type has a charm all of its own.
The metal cage type frogs also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes–round and square, silver and green.
This green one is embossed on the bottom, “L. A. Dazey MFG Co. N.Y.,” once a large manufacturer of flower frogs. I’d date this one to the 1940’s.
This oriental style vessel contains a small flower frog as part of its design. I suspect it is of newer manufacture, perhaps the 1980’s.
My very first ceramic frog, this French-blue specimen has a pretty hand-painted gold design and might fetch $15.00 at retail. I’d date it to the 1920’s.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that one can even find plastic flower frogs, like this clear, double-layer version I found at a garage sale for a dollar. Push the pin on top and it activates a suction cup on the bottom to hold the frog in place. Pretty clever, right? I’d date it to about the 1950’s.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me and spending some time learning about one of my favorite collectibles–filled with charm and relatively easy to find. You can learn more about how to use them in nontraditional ways in this post: Decorating with Flower Frogs.
Martha Stewart’s Flower Frog Collection (video)
I’d love it if you’d pin me!