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An umbrella stand is simply a moderately sized container used for holding and storing an umbrella, or, better yet, many. They take a few different forms. The simplest might be regarded as a sort of elegant trash can, usually formed in the shape of a cylinder. More complex varients involve two concentric metal rings (usually of brass or the like), the top ring having a larger diameter than the lower. A set of three or more ribs runs parallel to the rings, forming the legs of the stand, as well as binding the two rings together. In standard use of either sort of umbrella stand, an umbrella is placed, point down, into the stand. Such a stand would usually be located near the front door of a residence, and next to the coat rack. In this setup, a visitor or resident dressed for inclement weather might be able to divest themselves of their rain gear upon entering, rather than slogging it through the whole house.

Umbrella stands, it seems, are not much seen in the modern world (at least in my experience). I associate them most strongly with a sort of Mary Poppins era, when gentlemen left for work by the front door, attired in hat and coat. In the current epoch, the garage has outpaced the front door for the preferred entrance to many a house, and proper storage of umbrellas is given little thought. The full-sized umbrella of days past has been replaced by small, folding jobs that may be more efficiently tucked into a bag or purse. I commonly see umbrellas in various stages of dishevelment left outside of the doors of apartments, where they are trod upon and left exposed to the predation of thieves. All for want of the modest umbrella stand.

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