The rustic movement of the mid-nineteenth century was characterized by designs that were made to look like they were from the country—crafted from tree branches often with the bark still intact. Elegant and slim curved lines gave way to bulkier and heavier forms made to look like they came directly from the trees.
In decorative furniture this often took the form of chairs made from rough tree limbs curved to form arms and chair backs, chair legs made from tree roots growing upwards. This kind of design was mimicked in cemetery pieces, such as, benches. Gravestones were designed to look like tree stumps with branches sawed off.
That rustic design can also be seen in planters that were designed to decorate family plots. The planters are designed to look like pieces of wood, bark still on, formed to make planters. The designs pictured in this blogpost can all be found in the Highland Cemetery at Terre Haute, Indiana.