Birdcage With Fishbowl, early 19th century
Wood, glass, gilded brass, metal wire. Gift of Channing Hare. 1971-7-1-a/d.
What is this?
Square wooden box-type cage (a) cut on each side with fan-shaped opening inset with metal wires; quarter columns at corners; bun feet; gallery along top, decorated with circular cutouts and ball finials at corners; stamped brass (?) decorations at fan-shapes and capitals and bases of columns. On top of box, cradled in large circular hole with flange, is a globular fishbowl (b) with circular neck and central hollow globe, all formed from single wall (allowing bird entry/egress from and to wooden cage below). Base of bowl decorated with polychrome enamel band of landscape / water scenes showing European men hunting birds or fishing (retrieving birds?) from boats / sailing ships at sea (one flying two red, white and blue Dutch flags), and a rocky island with a tall castle-like building on top; floral decoration just below neck, gilded foliate decoration on neck and band at mouth.