A Guide to Vintage Flower Frogs [Styles & Values]

[Revised 2.27.21]
Hi there! Now that spring has well and truly sprung here in the Northeast (yesterday is reached 77°!), it’s time to bring some spring beauty inside. Today I’ll show you how to use vintage flower frogs to help you make beautiful flower arrangements without hacking down every flower in your garden.

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 graduating sizes just hanging around.

When I set them on top of each other, they made a flower frog “tree.” And so they found a happy 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 eventually I had an actual collection scattered around the house. They are a pleasure to look at, to hold, and to use; I highly recommend that if you’ve not yet discovered their charm and their functionality, consider collecting vintage flower frogs.

Related post: Decorating with Vintage Flower Frogs 

a platter filled with colorful flower frogs with text: Collecting Vintage Flower Frogs

Vintage Flower Frog Video

Catch my in depth video on vintage flower frogs HERE or read about them below.

What are Flower Frogs??

selection of vintage flower frogsFlower frogs are a fascinating vintage collectible that have been around for several centuries. The first reference to something like the flower frog dates back to 16th century France (Flower Frog Gazette), but the ones we’ve come to know and love date from about the 1910’s to the 1950’s (although they are still being manufactured).

But what are they for you ask? They were made to assist florists to create floral arrangements in wide-mouthed and/or shallow vases or dishes.

If you have just a few flowers but a very wide opening on your vase, then your flowers will simply lean to one side without some assistance. The shallower the dish, the bigger the issue.

Along came the diminutive flower frog to give flower arrangers the ability to stand their flowers in specific positions and have them stand there securely.

Where Did the Name “Flower Frog” Come From?

vintage flower frog collection on white ironstone platterA question I’m often asked is “Where did the name ‘flower frog’ come from?” Unfortunately the origin of this phrase is lost to us, but some have suggested that since both flower frogs and living breathing frogs sit in water, that may be the story behind the name. It works for me; what do you think?

Interestingly, none of the early 19th and 20th century patents use the word “frog.” Most, if not all, use the words flower holder. Other terms you might hear include, flower block and flower arranger.

Why Should You Consider Collecting Vintage Flower Frogs?

selection of vintage flower frogs on wood backgroundThe many collectors of flower frogs would agree that they make a wonderful collection for many reasons. They are typically 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.

And finally, the most important reason for many, those just starting out can find them at extremely reasonable prices. At garage sales and flea markets you will find examples like those in this blog post for $1-5. Expect prices to be higher at antique shops and online.

More ornate glass and ceramic examples manufactured by well-known brands can cost upwards of several hundred dollars. The frogs we’re looking at today fall into the affordable-for-the-average person category.

Types of Flower Frogs

Throughout the decades, flower frogs have been constructed from numerous materials and in many different forms and sizes. That’s what makes them such a fun collectible–there are so many to choose from.

Whether you’re looking at simple pin-type frogs on the low end or ornate ceramic versions on the high end, you can easily build an attractive and interesting collection.

In this post we’ll take a look at the six main categories of vintage flower frogs:

  • Glass
  • Metal pin-type
  • Metal cages
  • Metal hairpin
  • Ceramic
  • Plastic

Collecting Vintage Glass Flower Frogs

vintage clear glass flower frogThough their basic design is rather simple, glass flower frogs come in a multitude of sizes, colors, and yes, shapes. This antique example in clear glass has straight sides and a flat top, which is quite unusual, as you’ll see below when we consider other glass frogs. 

On the top edge, it’s marked “JAPANA, Pat. Jan. 27, 1903.” While this date doesn’t indicate exactly when it was manufactured, it gives us a hint. I currently use it on my desk to hold pens.


vintage amber flower frogThis large amber example, which I purchased in England, sold from my Etsy shop for $14.99 (2014). Glass frogs with domed tops tend to be the norm, but this steeply pitched frog is exceptional.

vintage black glass flower frogThis large black frog, which I picked up from a garage sale, sold from my antique booth for $12.00 (2016).

It’s much flatter than the one above, like the majority of glass frogs, but the jutting edge is a nice addition, which actually makes it easier to pick up from the bottom of a vase.

large spring green glass flower frogThis is my newest purchase–just gorgeous in spring green and with a delicate embossed design around the outer edge of the top surface. I’d value it at $18-25. It’s 4 1/4″ in diameter. Available under “Smalls.”

You can see some stunning glass figural examples here.

Collecting Vintage Metal Pin-Type Flower Frogs

three pin-type vintage flower frogsRound “pin-type” flower frogs like these are perhaps the easiest to find when out vintage shopping, and the least costly as well. 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).

Pin-types are especially ideal for composing simple, oriental designs and can “hold onto” larger, more reedy stems exceedingly well.

vintage green pin-type flower frogGreen examples sell for slightly more than their unpainted cousins.vintage copper flower frogThe 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).

two pin type flower frogs, new in packageFinding  frogs, new-in-package (NIP), 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.

The one on the left is a bit older I think, given the price of 39¢, while I think the one on the right likely dates to the 1970’s. The latter 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. We’ll talk about that a bit later on in the post.

green flower-shaped flower frog and flower frog in a dishWith 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). 

On the right is a copper flower frog glued to the base of a small metal flower container; it sold for $6 (2015).

two small pin type flower frogsTwo examples of smaller pin-type frogs that tend to cost more than their larger counterparts.

Collecting Vintage Metal Hairpin-Type Flower Frogs

vintage hairpin flower frogKnown as “hairpin” flower frogs because of their obvious resemblance to the hairpin, this type has a charm all of its own. We can attribute its invention back in 1932 to Ida Sinclair of Ohio.

The example you see here is signed “US Cut Flower Holder, Cuyahoga Falls, OH” on the bottom. (SOLD)

Collecting Vintage Metal Cage Flower Frogs

William R. Struck of the Dazey Manufacturing (Smithsonian) developed the first cage flower frog back in 1916. It allowed arrangers a bit more flexibility with their floral displays, allowing stems to be more easily placed at an angle than many glass and ceramic frogs.

green cage type flower frogAnd here we have an example of a frog from Dazey manufacturing. On the bottom you’ll find it embossed with, “L. A. Dazey MFG Co. N.Y.” I’d date this one to the 1930’s.

metal cage flower frog vintageThe metal cage type frogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes–round and square, silver and green.
wire type flower frog
This final example of a cage flower frog is made of sturdy wire and works in similar fashion to the others. Note the rust on its legs; sadly they failed to design it with water in mind, LOL.

Collecting Vintage Ceramic Flower Frogs

Ceramic flower frogs come in a huge assortment of styles and sizes, from very simple (like the first two below) to extremely ornate, including figurals of all kinds: people, animals, flowers, everyday objects and more.

two tone blue ceramic flower frog, view from the top and the sideMy 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 1930’s.

blue ceramic flower frog by WellerThis navy blue ceramic frog, by the well-known Weller pottery, sold recently from my antique booth for $15 (2019).

selection of three ceramic flower frogs: wheel barrow,fan, turtleThese ceramic flower frogs fall into what I would call the tchotchke category. Not particularly valuable, they give you a sense, however, of just how creative frog design can be. 

The frog in the center is marked “Copenhagen, Denmark” and likely dates to the 1940’s, while the other two, though unmarked were probably produced in Japan. The wheelbarrow in the 40’s and the turtle in 60’s.

elaborate red flower frogI’d date this merlot-colored frog to the 1940’s. It’s one of the nicer ceramic pieces that I’ve owned and it sold for $15 from my antique booth (2019).

flower frog in vaseThis oriental style vessel contains a small pin-type flower frog as part of its design. It is of newer manufacture, and similar pieces are currently in production.

It’s a good example of how pin-type frogs in shallow vessels have been used by the Japanese for centuries to create simple floral arrangements known as Ikebana. Interestingly, the Japanese word for flower frog, kenzan, literally means “sword mountain” (Wikipedia). 

two mushroom shaped ceramic flower frogsI discovered these two ceramic mushroom-shaped frogs not long ago at an estate sale. I feel they date to the 1970’s because of the color, embossing, and the fact that they’re mushrooms, but they could be newer even than that. Such fun, though, right?!! Available under “Smalls.”

The German company, Weiss, Kuehnert & Co. made exquisite ceramic flower frogs (marked Relpaw) for many years. They continue to be manufactured by the German Doll Co. who bought the molds. You may want to check out some of these stunning frogs.

How to Use Flower Frogs in Flower Arranging

In order to create an attractive flower arrangement using a shallow and/or wide-mouthed vessel, you’ll benefit by using a flower frog to help you. Instead of your blooms clumping together on one side of your vase or falling out altogether, frogs hold them in place and allow you to arrange them nicely. 

It also means that you can use less flowers to create a beautiful arrangement than you would otherwise have to use without a frog.

Here’s basically how you use a flower frog: Place it at the bottom of a vase or bowl and then slip your flower stems into the holes (or between the pins, as we shall see).

a vintage pin-type flower frog and a hairpin flower frog with flower stems in them

When you place your stems into the flower frogs, the pins or hairpins “grab” onto the stems and hold them in place. They work particularly well with woody stems, like forsythia, lilac, and hydrangea and stiff-stemmed flowers like roses and mums.

forsythia in vintage flower frogsYou can get the idea of just how precisely these frogs can hold the forsythia stems in place.

two types of flower frogs: cage and ceramic in milk glass vaseHere you see a cage and a ceramic type flower frog sitting in the bottom of a shallow vessel that also has a wide opening. The forsythia stems on the cage side are inserted through two layers of openings in the cage, while with the ceramic frog, they are merely inserted in one of the holes. (Note: Glass frogs work in the same way as this ceramic frog.)

Forsythia in milk glass vesselAs with both of the metal frogs above, the cage and ceramic frogs nicely hold the forsythia in place. (Note: If I were to create an arrangement in this vase, I would cut the stems much shorter and use quite a few more stems(!).)

florist's sticky clay and pin flower frogTo secure your flower frog to the bottom of whatever vase or vessel you choose, you’ll want to use floral sticky clay. This will hold it in place. It comes in a few different forms, but I like the kind that comes on a roll like you see here.

You simply pull or cut a piece off and press it to the bottom of your frog and then press the frog into the bottom of your vase.  Do this before you place your frog in its vase.

Foam florist oasis took away some of the flower frog’s thunder with its invention in 1954. It holds water well and allows for easy flower arrangement. But many homemakers and professional florists prefer flower frogs and continue to use them regularly. 

I hope you’ve been inspired to consider the humble flower frog in a new light. At the moment they continue to be sought after, so sellers should consider adding them to their inventory. I sell them regularly from both my antique booth and Etsy.


Thanks so much for hanging out with me and spending some time learning about one of my favorite collectibles. Flower frogs are filled with charm and are relatively easy to find out in the wild.

My Member Library contains a Flower Frog Price Guide that you can access when you SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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Bye for now,
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I’d love it if you’d pin me 🙂

selection of flower frogs on wood: learn all about collecting vintage flower frogs

platter with colorful vintage flower frogs and text: find out more about your vintage flower frogs

vintage flower frog collage



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  1. These are indeed wonderful collectibles, Diana. I like them all, but that hairpin frog is my favorite. It would make a beautiful dresser-top accessory in all its shabby glory! Sending you blessings for this wonderful day that the Lord has made —- we rejoice and are glad in it!

  2. Yes, I have a little assortment of these guys too, lol. Love the tiny glass ones you have (had? are they sold?) from England. My sister has had a couple of those hairpin frogs – they drive me crazy, getting caught and tangled when mixed with other smalls at the antique mall! I had a really nice & large, solid brass cage one I sold once, and I currently have a Cambridge Glass "Draped Lady" figural from the 1940s. My sister has sold several figurals, mostly Art Deco porcelains, and you can see one in my most recent post (in our case of smalls). I like the tiny metal ones – great for holding vintage postcards or photos. Fun post! Man, I'd love to spend some time with you to go pickin' in your area! Who knows, maybe someday we can join up…..
    Happy New Year, Diana.

  3. Fun to see the variety of frogs. I love them all and have a few glass, pin and a couple of figural frogs.

  4. Would you believe I have never seen one of these in person nor have I ever run across one at an estate sale.

  5. I've been collecting flower frogs since the 1990's. I have both glass and pin ones, as well as some ceramic ones. Would love to acquire a wire one, one of these days. I use the glass ones as pencil holders. I've seen some people use them as toothbrush holders! Thanks for the info and Happy new year!

  6. I love and collect the pin type frogs. I do have one large cage frog. It's great for holding pens on the built in desk in our kitchen. You have really came across a lot of great ones. I love the stacked tree and am working towards one. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  7. I really have no experience with these! YIKES I don't know that I've ever seen any of them in thrift stores either–I feel left out : )

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  11. Hello,

    I have had what I believe to be a bronze flower frog, shaped like a frog, for years and didn’t know what it was. I dug it up metal detecting at a very old plantation here in Louisiana. I could never figure out what the holes were for until now.

    It is non magnetic, very heavy and has exquisite details on the body of the frog. I don’t believe it is lead. Believe it’s bronze.

    Any help you could give me would be appreciated.



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  13. I found one in some stuff we got got left to us never knew what it was but it hurt when I picked it up wrong lol
    I have looked everywhere and could not find this one. It has a funny shape. Maybe you van help!!! 😊

    1. Yes, it would hurt if you picked it up wrong, Dana! Hope it caused no serious injury 🙂 and glad I could help you identify it. Feel free to request to join my Facebook group (Your Vintage Headquarters). It’s the perfect place to start a conversation about unknown vintage items by posting a photo and asking for help from other vintage lovers.

  14. I loved this article. I have the most adorable collection of small metal frogs and stack them and put tiny photos on top. Every “find” is a treasure!!

  15. Really enjoyed your informative video, Diana! I have sold several glass ones with tapered edges; I think they must have set down into a particular vase or comport. Had a friend who loved the ceramic bowl with attached pin frog; she won prizes at a local fair with her gladiola arrangements~

  16. I love vintage frogs and had one years ago, but don’t know what happened to it 🙁
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face, and giving me some inspiration!

  17. Hi id like you to identify a glass flower frog for me with an approximate value.
    If I could have an email address to use i can send some pics.
    Cheers David Gallienne
    PS I am enquiring for my 86yr old mum

    1. Hi David–feel free to join my Facebook group (Your Vintage Headquarters) and post a photo of your flower frog. The group is filled with vintage lovers who are always happy to help others out with identification and valuation of member’s vintage and antiques.

      1. Hi Diana. I have a very old looking and strange metal flower frog . I have never seen any example of it anywhere on the internet. I do not belong or want to belong to Facebook. Is there anyway you might be able to please help me where to go?

        1. Hi Donna,

          I have a few suggestions for you:

          (1) Check with your local library or bookstore for reference books about flower frogs.
          (2) Google “flower frogs” and you may find some helpful info.
          (3) Take your piece to a local antique store or auction house and ask for help.
          (4) Look for an online appraiser who could help (or get a referral from that antique store or auction house).
          Good luck!

      2. I bought my first flower frog today in a small collectibles shop near my home. I was there with my daughter who was searching for the missing Whimsies in her collection. I was attracted by a beautiful green glass one as my flower arranging teacher had told us to start using alternatives to floral foam. I didn’t even know they were called flower frogs. I looked up green glass flower holders online and it has opened up a whole new world which I didn’t know existed. I can certainly feel a new passion emerging. Thank you for your interesting article.

  18. I have a dilemma! I found a large black amethyst flower frog with a dome top and it has 31 holes!!! The center one probably for a candle. There are no marks on the bottom or anywhere. I just can’t find any information on it? Would you know by chance?

    1. Hi Rosemary,

      Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with that flower frog. I have a few suggestions for you:

      (1) Check with your local library or bookstore for reference books about flower frogs (I link to one in the post above).
      (2) Google “flower frogs” and you may find some helpful info.
      (3) Take your piece to a local antique store or auction house and ask for help.
      (4) Look for an online appraiser who could help (or get a referral from that antique store or auction house).
      Good luck!

    2. Flower frogs, especially glass, are very often unmarked making it very difficult to determine a maker or its age. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the frog you describe–sounds beautiful! There are groups on Facebook for almost every collectible you can think of. Here’s one for flower frogs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/182464145171011 You can post a photo there and ask for help identifying it. Good luck!

  19. I have the mushroom shaped ceramic one! I thought it was a tea light holder 🤦‍♀️ But mine has a base! Doesn’t look like yours has them. Which sits a tea light perfectly so I use it for that! Love your collection!

  20. Hello, Diana!

    I recently found your blog and absolutely love all of the detailed and insightful information you provide on such a large variety of collectibles!! Thank you for that!!

    However, there is one collectible that I’ve seen show up in a couple of your articles that I’m not sure you are familiar with, as you have yet to do a specific blog post about them; Uranium Glass aka Vaseline Glass !

    More specifically, I’m referring to both this article on Flower Frogs and another Post Hello, Diana!

    In each Post, you provide an images of what I believe to be “Vaseline” aka “Uranium” glass; the “spring green” flower frog and your personal collection of “green crackle glass” (of which only one or two pieces I think qualify).

    Uranium, (Vaseline aka Canary) glass, was first produced in the 1830’s and was quite popular through the 1920’s. There was a ban on its production from 1943 – 1958, after which, when production began again, its resale value was quite a bit higher due to the cost of its production.

    The reason for its collectability and popularity is its ability to glow bright green under UV (black) light. This is a result of the addition of anywhere from 1% – 25% of the element Uranium Oxide in the glass mixture. (Yes, THAT Uranium!).
    And no, you will not be exposed to harmful doses of radiation from the glass as it has been scientifically proven that exposure to this type of glass is less than 1% of the total amount of radiation we are exposed to annually on a normal and regular basis!

    I have been a HUGE collector of Vaseline Glass for MANY years, as it’s soft “canary yellow” or “spring green” natural coloration is beautiful, but it is its display under UV (black) lighting that makes it a SPECTACULAR display piece!!

    I would love to know if I was correct in my suspicion of the pieces in your own collection as to whether they are indeed “Vaseline” or not! There is a saying among collectors of Vaseline Glass, “If it doesn’t glow green, it’s not Vaseline”! LOL

    Thank you, again, for your incredibly informative forum and for allowing me to indulge in sharing one of my passions with you and your followers, (which I can be counted as one!).

    Heather S.

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