Rialto Bridge Birdcage, late 19th–early 20th century
Painted wood, bent metal wire, metal. Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt. 1916-19-14.
What is this?
Green painted wooden frame with metal wires, modeled after the Rialto Bridge. Intricate wire scrollwork; four doors; two feed cups; hinged panel at either end for removal of trays (trays missing).
Why is this important?
When the Hewitt sisters travelled to Europe in pursuit of objects for the museum they were creating (see photo of Sarah, Eleanor, and Amy Hewitt in a Venetian gondola), they collected items that, today, might not seem immediately relevant to a design museum—like birdcages. The European-focused Hewitt sisters acquired birdcages in various media, such as ceramics and glass. Others represent specific architecture from various locations.
This object has been included in the following exhibitions: