A Spring Parade of Animal Planters | Living the Country Life
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A Spring Parade of Animal Planters

These springtime youngsters never grow up. Retro ceramic planters in baby animal shapes first took root during World War II, and their high-quality design and painstaking hand-painted details continue to attract admirers.
  • Marty Baldwin

    Baby Animal Planters

    Ceramics planters such as this cheerful chick and duckling were once plentiful at five-and-dime stores. Baby animal planters often sported bouquets to welcome newborns. 

     

    Date Published: March 13, 2017
    Date Updated: April 28, 2017
  • Photography by Marty Baldwin

    Bunny Planter

    This adorable bunny from the 1950s makes a sweet spring-time planter, especially with a tiny polka-dot plant tucked inside. The styles, colors, and glazes for animal-shaped ceramic planters changed during the decades but they were so plentiful that planters are easily and inexpensively found in antique stores and online.

    Date Published: March 13, 2017
    Date Updated: April 28, 2017
  • Photography by Marty Baldwin

    Little Lamb

    America’s entry into World War II dried up the supply of cheap ceramics from Japan. That left fertile ground for U.S. pottery manufacturers, which were given the green light to increase production. These ceramic planters were made by the tens of thousands in the 1940s and ’50s by various companies (Spaulding, Shawnee, and McCoy are examples). From the shelves of the local five-and-dimes and as gifts in the floral trade, they charmed Americans, as does this blithe lamb sporting a posie of voilas.

     

     

    Date Published: March 13, 2017
    Date Updated: April 28, 2017
  • Photography by Marty Baldwin

    Black Sheep

    A rich, glossy glaze and burgundy color accents this vintage lamb. When searching online, go beyond “animal planter,” and use colors as well as the animal of choice, such as lamb, duck, pig, or bunny. Or include a manufacturer’s name in your search. Some sellers call these pieces “vases,” so do a separate search using that word.

     

    Date Published: March 13, 2017
    Date Updated: April 28, 2017
  • Photography by Marty Baldwin

    Expressive Planters

    Manufacturers infused so much detail in the faces and costumes of each little ceramic animal, making these planters endearing over many decades. What makes these planters so expressive? It’s the peepers, whether bashfully shut or wide open and innocent or half-closed and coy.


     

     

    Date Published: March 13, 2017
    Date Updated: April 28, 2017
  • Photography by Marty Baldwin

    Lamb and Cart Planter

    Variations in glazing reveal how each planters was decorated by hand. Compare similar ceramic planters and see how artists ad-libbed. This little lamb with rosy accents might well have a sister with blue accents but the same perky attitude. 

    Date Published: March 13, 2017
    Date Updated: April 28, 2017

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