Early 20th c. Wrought Iron Wardian Case on Stand c.1900



This is an original wrought iron Wardian case/terrarium on a detachable stand. The case has glass panels on all sides. There are eight curved glass panels on the lid. The lid lifts open and can be propped open with with an arm and hook.

  • CREATOR Unknown.
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Wrought Iron, Glass. 
  • CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use. One curved panel needs replacing which is reflected in the price.
  • DIMENSIONS H 51 in. W 28 in. D 19 in.


The Wardian case was an early type of terrarium a sealed protective container for plants. It found great use in the 19th century in protecting foreign plants imported to Europe from overseas, the great majority of which had previously died from exposure during long sea journeys, frustrating the many scientific and amateur botanists of the time. The Wardian case was the direct forerunner of the modern terrarium and the inspiration for the glass aquarium. It was invented by Dr. Nataniel Ward (1791–1868), of London.

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