Playwright Jacques Deval once wrote, “God loved the birds and made trees. Man loved the birds and made cages.” I am much more content watching birds soaring and swooping. Still I can’t help but admire this finely designed piece of art. When I first saw this birdcage in the form of a church the word that came to mind was “amazing.”
This birdcage was handcrafted in the mid-nineteenth century. During this time a renewed interest in Gothic architecture swept through Europe and America. The windows that curve to a point and the vaulted ceiling mirror traditional Gothic-style. Made from mahogany, cherry and pine the subtle changes in the color of the wood lend it a weathered look, as if it spent years braving the elements. The bell tower is one of the birdcage’s most notable features—it includes three hand-painted clock faces; the two visible in this photograph show the hands at 3:00 and 4:00 respectively. The door frame in the shape of an inverted heart may signify our love of music and need for beauty. The designer thought not only of beauty but also of functionality. A small knob on the left side of the cage aided in the easy removal of the tray for cleaning. The discrete brass loop on the top of the peaked roof acts as a handle, or might have allowed a bird lover to hang the cage.
It’s interesting to note that this birdcage, made in the United States, was said to be a replica of a church that once stood in Flushing, New York.