The word, "garniture" first entered the English language in the sixteenth century and over the years acquired several different meanings. It has its roots in the French word garnir, which translates as "garnish."
Usually an odd numbered set of porcelain or faiance urns or vases made to decorate the fireplace, which was the primary focal point of homes before central heating was invented. In Dutch homes a traditional place was on the top of large wooden cabinets. Garnitures was also used as focal points of dining tables and buffés.
These sets most commonly included five items, but there were sets of three, five and in some cases even seven vessels. The types of vessels was typically an alternating set of vases or beakers and covered jars or urns. During later period porcelain sculptures, clocks, porcelain fruit baskets, porcelain candlesticks was also made and used as garnitures.
The inspiration might originally have come from Chinese altar sets that typically consists of five pieces, one censer, two candle stick holders and two vessels for sacrifices.