This centerpiece is a wreath form inspired by Della Robbia medallions, a style brought to my attention by Louise B Fisher, author of An Eighteenth-Century Garland published in 1951 Many aristocratic homes, including the governor's palace of Colonial Williamsburg, displayed this style of flower design in the formal dining room.  A little research revealed that the Della Robbia medallion is referring to an art form by Italian Renaissance sculptor Andrea della Robbia who was the most important artist of ceramic glass of his time.  He was born in 1435 into a family of Florentine sculptors renowned for their terra-cotta sculpture. After his death in 1525, his workshop was carried on by his son Giovanni.

This natural medallion is made with the following  materials: dried oak leaves and boxwood and ferns along with red cockscomb, yarrow, and pinecones. The glass pedestal holds an array of hickory nuts, walnuts, acorn tops, an oak leaf, and pinecones.


This sophisticated table display is composed only of hops and pressed ivy leaves which are eloquently placed on a black cloth.  Ivy leaves form a rectangular box encasing two white taper candles with crystal holders embellished with dried hop flowers still on the vine. The various shades of green add a hint of spring color to this winter arrangement. 

Perhaps the popularity of the medallion centerpiece during the Colonial Era is due to it's sophisticated  simplicity and implementation of common materials.  Even a novice designer can be quite successful with assembling a medallion centerpiece.  


During the Baroque period 1600-1775 AD, floral styles were symmetrical and oval shaped, with asymmetric crescents and S-shapes following soon after. This table centerpiece has a sophisticated  asymmetrical appearance inspired by the Hogarth curve design. Ancient floral designs often did not include vases or containers. The S-curve design, popular with many florists, is the only arrangement style named for a person rather than a geometric shape. Credit for this style is given to English artist, William Hogarth (1697 - 1764).  

Although the Hogarth curve can be tricky to achieve, it is rather simple when arranging on a flat surface such as a table. The display in the above photos include pressed ferns and wispy grasses to form the S-line. Three clusters of red cockscomb and yellow yarrow accent the curves. Two pinecones offset each glass candle holder. The woodland tones are richly highlighted against a black tablecloth.  

Give your next dinner a touch of regalia by gracing your table with a medallion centerpiece comprised of winter drieds and flattened leaves.  Creating is a relaxing endeavor that benefits not only yourself, but all those who enjoy your arrangement.  

Naturally yours,