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What is this?

Birdcage (a) of wooden slats, dowels and metal wire in the form of a church with peaked roof; walls of clerestory-like gothic style arches; at one end a rectangular bell tower with three large, circular, painted clock faces, and door with inverted heart-shape perforation. Wood and sheet metal under tray (b) pulls out at left side. Small loop handle of brass on roof.

Why is this in our collection?

This birdcage is a model of a church in Flushing, Queens, New York; by the time the Hewitts owned the birdcage, the church was covered in stone. The spacing between the wooden slats provides visibility and ventilation for the birds and differentiates between an actual architectural model and a practical birdcage.
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 is a birdcage from United States. It is dated mid-19th century and we acquired it in 1916. Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This object is currently resting in our storage facility.

Its medium is

turned, cut, and stained mahogany, cherry, pine, cut brass, wire, enamel-painted metal

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (a, b): 79 x 38 x 75.5 cm (31 1/8 x 14 15/16 x 29 3/4 in.)

This object was catalogued by Carl C. Dauterman and donated by Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and Sarah Cooper Hewitt

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18187735 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Church Birdcage, mid-19th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=31 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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