A Wonderful c.1870 Gilded Architectural Bird Cage with Ornithological Taxidermy Studies

Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-80
Width: 15.75 inches
Height: 24.25 inches
Depth: 11.5 inches (all at maximum)

The Victorian period gilded bird cage with a pair of taxidermy studies of a yellow canaries on perches, the cage with four etched decorative glass panels, two wire work and embellished drink and food feeders with original ceramic liners with base to pull-out drawer.

There is some damage to note to the ensemble with some later replacements though overall it remains an attractive piece in its entirety. One of the ceramic liners has a crack through it, the brass knop finial is skewed having a crack to its base. The etched glass panels are part original and part later and mostly in good order and although the taxidermic birds are tatty they remain in shape. The whole would perhaps benefit from a clean and possibly restoration but as always we like to leave this to the eventual buyer.

Birdcages such as this were often built to represent monumental buildings, such as the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower or a Georgian mansion. At one point, parrots were only housed in these fanciful cages to roost. Ornamented and structurally lavish cages became popular among the noble classes in Europe around the 14th century. Experts and collectors agree that of these early cages, the most talented artisans were the French and the Dutch. In France, a guild of cage makers was licensed and chartered by royalty to fabricate cages generally made of iron or brass wire. These guilds of artisans made cages specifically for male and female songbirds. At the same time, in other areas of the world, cages were being built out of bamboo, wicker, wood, rattan and reed.

In his masters own words ‘My wife was perhaps the most beautiful creature I ever saw………other than my birds”.