Bird stores, the forerunners of our modern pet stores, began to appear in large American cities in the 1940s. These stores supplied not only the birds but also such essentials as seed, feeders, and cages like this one.
This elaborate architectural birdcage, designed with a bulb-shaped onion dome, features a large central swing. The design probably reflected the owner's taste, influenced by Eastern art and architecture, in which onion domes are more common. The owner of this cage would have been able to browse bird stores for brightly colored European canaries or goldfinches, farm-raised parakeets, or South American parrots, which were highly prized from the 1880s to the 1910s.