Today, people flaunt their wealth with fancy clothes, designer bags, mansions, and cars, but in the 17th century, societies battled wars of wealth and prestige with birds. In the United States, vintage birdcages served the practical purpose of housing exotic pets such as parrots, finches, and songbirds. In England and France, however, these cages functioned much like beautiful chandeliers. Wealthy homeowners proudly displayed elaborate birdcages, crafted to model such magnificent architectural structures as the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower. Even if they never kept live birds, Europeans often tailored vintage birdcages to suit the tastes of their favorite species. Many designed vintage decorative birdcages differently for males and females. Cages for males featured square or rectangular shapes with straight lines. Cages for female birds, in contrast, were shaped like bells and ovals, with flattering intricate curves. Regardless of whether they used the cages to house birds or simply for show, Victorians crafted their cages from thick and durable materials. Larger companies and some craftspeople made cages from iron and wire. Artisans and other highly specialized workers made vintage wooden birdcages by hand. On eBay, you can shop for a vintage birdcage of your own and find yourself a great conversation piece with a fascinating history.
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