What is this?? What is this??

Below I’ll give you all the clues I can come up with, but I’ve never seen anything like it before… Maybe it’s a one of a kind piece or maybe you’ve seen something like it before… Help me out, what is this??

The gal I bought it from told me her relative used to be in some sort of salvage business many years ago, and he got this from an old Tudor style house in Minneapolis that was going to be torn down. She said it was sitting out in the garden there, but had no idea what it was. Her salvaging relative gave it to her. She’s had it for several years in her garden, but was wanting a change, so listed it for sale on this site, where I found it, and got it for a small sum, so if it only ever sits here on our patio and looks pretty, forever unidentified, I don’t feel bad about the minor investment. 😉

Here’s the full wrought iron piece: What is this??

Isn’t it lovely? I love the curves and old iron details.

It’s very heavy…and just happens to fit perfectly on the brick ledge of our patio in front of an antique iron gate a previous owner of our 100 year old house mounted in the patio wall. (click here to see a little more of this brick patio tucked in back)

The details on this piece are quite lovely: What is this??

Like these sharply curved feet.

And the very old joinery confirms the old age of the piece: What is this??

On the lower section is a ‘shelf’ area, or so it looks to me. There is for sure a lip around it, I think intended to hold some sort of a shelf… perhaps a slab of marble? What is this??

Flanking each side of the front are tall multi level round shelves of some kind… perhaps plant holders? What is this??

I’m not positive about them being plant holders though, because most of the old plant holders I’ve seen have just rings for the pots to slip down in, like the two that are on the back of this piece… however, these round shelves that are mounted on this pair of front arms have bottoms around the rings… so maybe they were intended to hold something else besides a pot?

The details on the back with all the acanthus type leaf detail has what looks like more holes to hold something else: What is this??

Perhaps plant or candle holders or perhaps some more leaf or flower details.

There is one more at the bottom that is more flat shaped too: What is this??


Are you as perplexed as I am? What is this??

Or do you have a thought as to what this might be?

I’d love, love, love to hear from you… what is this??

As always, please feel free to share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook and Pinterest the more the merrier!

I appreciate you stopping by.


One of my favorite places to link up is at Between Naps on the Porch. Susan has a great link party on Mondays. Another great party is The Scoop… with several blogs involved. Marty at A Stroll Thru Life has a wonderful knack with her link party… and decorating too.

Reader Interactions


  1. Florence says

    That is a fantastic beautiful piece!!! The lower shelf looks like it may have held a piece of glass. I love pieces like that! You really scored! Dropping in from Vintage Charm…actually came to see your clock. Impressed with that too.

  2. mom & dad :) says

    What a beautiful and unique piece. I think it may be a plant stand with places for oil lamps. Can picture it full of lovely plants and flowers with the soft oil lamp lighting.
    The empty holes may be a place for rods with hooks for hanging plants? The bottom tray holder may have been for a large box planter?

    Do you think it might have been used indoors – the reason for the plant holders to have solid bottoms?

    Yesterday I googled ‘antique wrought iron plant stands’ and couldn’t find anything similar but some of the more ornate ones I found were listed as ‘orchid stands’. Also found these “plant hooks” – the holes may have had rods for these hooks to hang plants from.
    This site has some pictures and info on a few old stands with the plants and information.
    “During the Victorian era, wealthy Europeans, particularly the British, filled their conservatories with parlor ferns and African violets, Tucker says. “People went out into the wild to find new plants. Orchids were a big thing. They also liked to put plants under cover, like in a cloche or a lantern.”
    This on on eBay has the solid holders and the description says was used for African Violets and oil lamps.!Lighting_&_Fan.html



    • Liz says

      Awe… Mom and Dad… Thank you so much for all this wonderful information! I think you may be right… Victorians did like to ‘do it up’ in a big way… so maybe it was always just a really ornate plant stand for indoors… hmmmm… now you’ve got me wondering if I should move it into the dining room bay window and use it for plants! 🙂

  3. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Whatever it is, it sure is full of rustic goodness. I think it might be a candle holder, perhaps it once belonged in a church.

  4. Donnamae says

    It looks like a plant stand to me…or a combination plant/candle stand? It is gorgeous Liz…..great find! Let us know how you use it! 😉

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