Late Victorian Bird Cage
My husband's mother was an Irish immigrant, and she worked as a governess in the homes of many wealthy families in New York City. Our best bet is that she was given this as a gift from one of those families. And it's lived in basements for decades. We don't know a lot about its history at all. We think perhaps it was a hand-crafted birdcage-- that was pretty much all my husband remembers her ever saying about it.
Well, clearly hand-crafted. Someone had a lot of time on their hands and put a lot of effort into this. I would date this to the 19th century.
Oh, w ow.
High Victorian style. This almost weird combination of architectural styles. You have Greek classical, you have this mansard roof, you have a widow's walk. It's also a penthouse, so it has a lot going on architecturally. The other thing that's interesting to me is the number of metals that are used. There's tin, there's copper, there's aluminum, this is brass at the corners. It probably had a little bit more paint on it originally, and you can see some remnants of it in the grating on top and in some of the window and wire work. We don't know who made it.
We do know the time period, and we have an idea of what it's made out of. Bird keeping is not all the rage that it was, but these are highly decorative and highly sought after. I think we'd be looking at about a $5,000 value retail.
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