Ok everyone, gather around. It is time to learn about the history of bird cages.
Wait! Come back! Don’t fly away just yet. I know, I know…the history of bird cages sounds like the beginning of a long-winded, and possibly made up, story you hear from your grandparents. I mean…it’s a cage. For birds. End of history, right? I am happy to say I was proven wrong thanks to thanks to Richard H. Randall Jr.’s research article, “A Gothic Bird Cage”. I am always ready to learn new things and Randall’s article definitely taught me more about bird cages than I knew before..
Looking through the different bird cage products and projects from Michaels I had to wonder…when did the idea putting birds in cages begin? When did we start using them as decoration?
In Randall’s article, he discusses how many ancient Greek vases depict tall wicker cages characteristic in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. He also mentions different symbols associated with bird cages. For example, he describes an early Christian sarcophagus from the Vatican cemetery that looks like a domed bird cage with the bird sitting on top of it, signifying that the soul of the person had been liberated from its earthly prison.
Wood and wicker were the most common materials used to make bird cages in medieval times. The wicker cages had a conical or rectangular shape and were hawked by peddlers along the streets. Iron cages were also common in the palaces of Louis XI and Isabella of Bavaria. In 1379.
Charles V of France had decorative bird cages made out of “gold and silver filled with birds of enamel and precious metals, set with the finest gems. These minute birds were sweetly perfumed, and the cages hung in the wardrobes and chambers of the palaces as sachets.”
Apparently the idea of decorating with bird cages has been around a lot longer than I thought. I know for a fact that I could never rock a bird cage hair style but I might be able to pull off a few bird cage decorations in my apartment.
If you want to try to bring a little of this history to your own home, Michaels has several projects that continue the history of bird cage décor. Why not try making the Bird Cage Bamboo Wind Chime, Turquoise Bird Cage succulent display, or Bird Cage Lanterns.
Have fun incorporating bird cages into your home décor!