Vases have been popular both outdoors and indoors since ancient times. Ancient vases were often used for cemetery purposes, but today we have many different types for different uses. They can be made from anything from ceramic and porcelain to glass or metal. The most expensive in the world is the Ming vase.
Ming vases are considered very rare and valuable. They date back to China's final imperial dynasty of 1386 - 1644. Ming ceramic pottery is mostly blue and white. A Ming vase can be urn-shaped or even bird-shaped. An unglazed ring inside a red-brown ring on the foot, or base, of the Ming vase marks it as a true Ming.
Ancient Greek pottery includes distinctive and sophisticated paintings. By the 8th century BC, figures of humans were used on cemetery vases to mark graves. Attic vases are black and red-toned and include figures from Greek mythology such as Hercules. Greek pottery often tells a story in the use of human and animal figures painted on it. Many ancient Greek examples feature handles on the widest part.
Glass vases can be clear or opaque. Crystal vases are often cut into intricate patterns. Glass varieties are less expensive than crystal, and the large sized glass ones are often used today for dramatic fruit or floral displays. Bud vases can be made of glass, crystal, porcelain or ceramic and are tall and narrow. They are designed to hold a branch with a bud that will bloom into a full flower.
Ceramic pottery vases are often handmade and may have a rustic, earthy look to them. However, depending on the finish used, ceramic pottery can also look very sophisticated. Chinese porcelain ones are usually extremely detailed with a main color of red, yellow or blue.
Modern cemetery vases hold flowers placed at the memorial site and many are cylindrical, cone-shaped or urn-shaped. Some are designed to hold silk flowers rather than fresh flowers. Granite, marble, bronze and cast metals are common materials used for this type. Bronze is expensive and cast metals are less expensive.