Cachepot, noun


A cachepot is a decorative container, or vessel, used for holding (and concealing) a flowerpot. It is sometimes written as two words – cache pot – and can be pronounced as CASH-pot or CASH-poe. It is from the French and literally translates to “hides the pot.” Cachepots first appeared around 1875, in France not surprisingly, and were ornamental and quite beautiful, usually of china or tole. The idea was to take the decorative focus away from the plant’s original pot, which was almost always made from clay and could become unsightly due to water or fertilizer stains.

One of the first lots to come up for bid at John Moran Auctioneers’ July 30, 2016 Decorative Arts Auction was this gorgeous pair of Sevres-style cachepots, boasting hand-made Vincennes-style ceramic flower inserts. The pair had been assigned a modest pre-sale estimate of $300-$500, but ended up beating that tenfold, finishing at $4,200. A cachepot typically has no hole at its base for discharging excess water, so it does not stain the furniture underneath it. However, such a design presents a risk for the plant: the roots can rot if left immersed in water for some time.