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What is the history of lady head vases?

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Quick Answer

Lady head vases first came into production during the late 1940s and became popular during the 1950s. They were originally made by flower companies to hold small bouquets or individual flowers. The small openings limited the number of flowers that could be held in order to encourage sales.

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Full Answer

These vases featured the bust and head of a woman with a small opening on the top to hold a few flowers. Most of the vases featured women with minute facial features, hats and sometimes even jewelry. One of the most popular manufacturers of this vase is Betty Lou Nichols. Her lady head vases were characterized by fancy curled hair, fabric ruffles, pouting lips and memorable three-dimensional eyelashes.

The Glamour Girl vases were some of the first vases produced in the early 1950s. They were made out of ceramic and featured unassuming women with a retro look. Head-vase manufacturers following World War II found success largely out of the recovering Japanese economy. Vases made in Japan were cheaper than those manufactured in the United States. The most popular manufacturer from Japan was Napcoware, followed by other Asia-based companies such as Enesco, Lefton China and Ucagco.

Before production ceased in the 1970s, head vases featuring busts of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Disney characters were popular as well.

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