Vintage Head Vases

When I did my little bathroom home improvement project I took special care in handling my little princess vase. She has a big open area behind her back where I have started to store my makeup brushes.
 It got me thinking about the world of head vase collecting, since a fair amount of vintage enthusiasts that I know use head vases for this same reason (or for the original reason, to store flowers). I don’t have any head vases, but they seem like a fun thing to collect. A quick browse on Etsy, Ruby Lane or eBay yields all kinds of finds.
You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about the history of head vases by going here. That site is a lot of fun, as well as being super informative.
Perhaps the most bizarre yet fascinating aspect of head vase collecting, for me, is the Jackie Kennedy vase, arguably the most coveted of all the head vases. While most regular head vases fetch for somewhere between fifty and a hundred dollars, the Jackie Kennedy asking price goes from anywhere from $200-$600 depending on condition.
This particular vase, made in 1964, is a direct homage to her look during President Kennedy’s funeral, but without her black veil being directly over her face. It’s so macabre and I feel a tad squeamish over a company making a tangible souvenir (nevermind profiting from said souvenir) over such a period of mourning in America’s history but then again I tend to be fascinated by objects that slightly repulse me. Also being that I was not alive when all that happened puts me in a position to view this object with a bit more distance.

The heyday of head vases was post-WWII up through the mid-1960s. Who would have thought that a little afterthought in a florist’s shop would be so prized all these years later.

Head vase images via here here here and here.


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