The history of vintage bird cages is associated with the adoption of birds as pets. Birds were caged for their mystery and beauty about 4 centuries ago in ancient Egypt.
Parrots and doves were best choices of the Egyptians and are depicted in the hieroglyphics. The Mynah has been regarded a sacred bird in India for more than 2,000 years too.
The birds were also pulled through the different streets on oxen, likely in the crude cages to make sure they wouldn’t escape. It’s hard to determine what some of these cages may have been made of, possibly wooden twigs, reeds, rope mesh, or even bamboo.
Ancient Romans also kept and held birds, and it was regarded the duty of a slave to the care of any domesticated animal. By the Middle Ages, only the wealthy individuals kept caged birds.
When Western traders brought back textiles and spices from the Far East, they also brought different exotic birds as pets. Birds were much-adored pets in American Colonies.
Wooden and bamboo vintage bird cages were seen in several kitchens in the New World, often hanging near open windows. During the Victorian era, a bird was regarded even more than a pet.
The decorative vintage birdcage was seen as a vital ornamentation within the Victorian parlor. Wire cages were much more effective and durable cages than the ephemeral cane, wood, or bamboo.
Before mass production of metal and plastic products, vintage bird cages for sale were just hand-crafted to resemble the furniture design of the period. Birdcages were a key status symbol and vital piece of the furniture in a house.
They are mainly popular as the collectors’ items or as household decor, but many aren’t suitable for the housing of live birds, since they are very small, using unsafe materials or construction or having improper shape.
They exist in numerous styles and even appear as the decorative elements in plethora of items from paintings to jewelry. Those who like collecting antique and vintage birdcages should know about the various styles which have been very famous through the ages.
Vintage Bird Cages for Collectors
Collectors usually look for the bird cages from specific period or in a specific style to add a focus to their collection. Other collectors just look for distinct designs no matter the age of cage or style. Below are some very distinguishable styles of the vintage bird cages:
1. Victorian Bird Cages
Birdcages in Victorian style are often very ornate, with embellishments and scrolls characteristic of furniture of the Victorian era. Most have a dome shape often associated with the vintage bird cages; though, there are also Victorian birdcages shaped like miniature mansions. These cages can be made of wood or metal.
2. Tunisian Bird Cages
Tunisia is a small nation in the northern Africa with the enormous tradition of the ornate artisan-crafted birdcages. The Tunisian style is very distinctive and includes a wire and wood cylindrical-base topped by a huge wire dome.
Instead of the common straight wires which often compose the sides of cage, Tunisian bird cages are made by linking many curved wires together. Crafting bird cages is a vital tradition passed down from one generation to another in the Tunisian culture, making these bird cages very rich in the history as well as unique and attractive.
3. Oriental Pagoda Style
There are many styles of the Asian bird cages, but pagoda-style cage is among the more common and special styles available. These cages are made to match Asian pagodas with their angular tiered roofs.
Decorative Vintage Bird Cages
Different home decorators can find numerous uses for the vintage bird cages both outdoors and indoors. Bird cages are available in numerous sizes, making them unique accent and versatile pieces. Below are some ways they’re often used.
1. Bird Cages as the Table Centerpieces
A vintage bird cage can be easily filled with the candles, flowers, or the butterfly decorations and even placed on your table as the centerpiece. It’s an alternative to conventional baskets or vases and adds an attractive vintage touch to your table.
Old antique style cages for various functions are becoming more and more popular every day as people try to implement and old fashion theme into their wedding, family reunion or other function.
A great place to start looking for old vintage or antique style bird cages is yard or rummage sales as you just never know what you can find. Also, estate sales can be a gold mine for those searching for old antique items that one would never find in your regular weekend yard sale. I have been to countless estate sales in the past 20 years and have purchased countless old antique bird cages and bird related items that were in great shape and had resold them to dealers throughout the country making a tidy profit along the way. Don’t give up if you havn’t found what your looking for in your local area. You can always use planned vacations as an opportunity to search other local markets.
2. Wishing Wells for Weddings
Vintage bird cages are also becoming very popular at the weddings for use as the wishing wells. A wishing well is a container or box which holds monetary and gifts cards from the guests.
Hung from a conventional vintage bird cage holder, a birdcage is a charming way to invite various guests to leave their gifts and wishes for bride and groom.
3. Bird Cage Lighting
Since bird cages are usually hung from hooks, they’re the ideal object to hold the candles, especially in some outdoor settings. Cages can be easily hung from trees with candles placed inside them to illuminate the surrounding area in subtle and romantic way.
Vintage bird cages are interesting collectibles and also gorgeous accent pieces in the decor of a home. They are very popular today because of their old-fashioned charm and can be found in several homes of bird lovers. Collectors can select to focus their choices on one vintage style or create a collection based on their own preference only.