Ornamental bird cages have been around for centuries and have served as both functional and decorative objects in households. However, vintage ornamental bird cages have a unique charm and are popular among collectors and enthusiasts. The ornate beauty of these cages can elevate the aesthetics of any space and transport one back in time to a bygone era.
History of Ornamental Bird Cages
The use of bird cages dates back to ancient Egypt when they were used to keep birds as a symbol of status or as a source of entertainment. In the Victorian era, bird cages were popular and were used not only for keeping birds, but also for decorating homes. They were adorned with intricate metalwork, decorative trimmings, and embellishments such as flowers, leaves, or even human figures. During this time period, it became common for bird cages to be seen as a showpiece and a part of home decor.
Designs and Materials of Vintage Ornamental Bird Cages
Vintage ornamental bird cages come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. The most common materials are brass, copper, cast iron, and wood. Collectors value wrought iron cages that are painted in bright colors as they are considered unique artifacts of their time. The cages’ designs range from simple and elegant to elaborate and extravagant, and often feature curved lines, scrolling, and symmetrical patterns. Some cages also incorporate small bells, chains, or functional components, such as seed cups, drinker fountains, and swing perches.
Collecting Vintage Ornamental Bird Cages
Vintage ornamental bird cages are highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts, and are traded at premium prices at antique shops, auctions, and online marketplaces. Some collectors prefer cages that have been restored or repaired, while others prefer the cages in their original state, as it showcases the passage of time and the bird cage’s history. However, it is important to keep in mind that some vintage ornamental bird cages may contain traces of lead paint or other harmful substances, and should be handled with care.
Caring for Vintage Ornamental Bird Cages
If you decide to buy a vintage ornamental bird cage for display, it is important to take proper care of it to preserve its ornate beauty. The cages should be dusted regularly, and any rust or corrosion should be removed carefully with a wire brush. If the cage has any cracks or holes, it should be repaired immediately to prevent further damage. To enhance the beauty of the cage, it can be admired with candles or flower arrangements.