Vintage Bird Cage Makeover

June 2, 2015

Vintage Hendryx Co. bird cage before and after collage
The urge to paint everything white is a sickness. I'm not sure if it has a scientific name,
but I'm sure the condition exists nonetheless. I'm living proof. 

vintage A.B. Hendryx brass art deco pagoda bird cage

 Anybody remember this beauty? Two summers ago I was thrilled to stumble
upon this awesome, vintage bird cage with accompanying metal stand at
Michigan's Longest Garage Sale. I had wanted one for forever, but they were
always too pricey. I really lucked out on this one and was quite happy to take it
off the seller's hands.

It was fun using it in various vignettes around the house.
I especially loved using it at Christmas.

vintage A.B.Hendryx brass art deco pagoda birdcage filled with Christmas balls

It was only recently that I got around to looking into its origins. I believe the bird cage
was manufactured by A.B. Hendryx Company in New Haven, CT. The name was
engraved on the bottom of the stand that came with it.

vintage A.B. Hendryx bird cage stand

The cage itself has no markings on it, but I'm fairly sure that it, too, came from
 the same company because after doing a little research I came up with this.

1910 A.B. Hendryx Company bird cage catalog-round brass bird cages

It's a page taken from one of the A.B. Hendryx Company's bird cage catalogs 
published in 1910. I found the catalog in the Hagley Digital Archives. The
cage in the picture is very similar to mine, however, it appears to have a 
pedestal base beneath it, while mine does not. And mine has a decorative mesh
bird seed catcher around the bottom. Otherwise it's pretty close. Since the
 catalog is an archival copy it is a bit difficult to read.

I also found a number of vintage bird cages for sale online, all similar to mine,
and all claiming to be A.B. Hendryx as well. According to one source, brass
pagoda-style bird cages were in style from the 1920's to the 1940's. So perhaps
mine is from that time period. Either way, it's a pretty cool vintage find. It's hard to tell
what it might be worth.I've seen similar cages on ebay for anywhere from $30 to $200.
When it wasn't being used in various vignettes around the house, it was
sitting in our basement. But I knew that it was time to update it if I wanted to
include it in our every day d├ęcor. Here it is in all it's original glory.

vintage A.B. Hendryx brass art deco pagoda bird cage

I guess it was ok as is, but I really was not a big fan of the dirty, dingy brass. You
can't tell from the picture but it was kind of icky. So I bit the bullet and painted it,
along with the metal stand. First I scrubbed it as clean as I could, then I spray painted
it with three thin coats of white paint. I haven't distressed it yet, but I plan to.

vintage brass bird cage makeover-painted white

vintage brass bird cage makeover-painted white

vintage brass bird cage makeover-painted white

vintage brass bird cage makeover-painted white

I soooooo want to fill this baby with a chandelier of some sort. But I can't justify
the expense right now. What are the odds of finding a small, affordable vintage
chandy at a flea market or estate sale? I'm praying they're high. Though realistically
I know it ain't gonna happen.

In the interim I'm looking to improvise with some different lights. I purchased a
10 ft. LED light string with timer from Target. I like to call them happy lights.

vintage brass bird cage makeover painted white with LED string lights inside
I like the look, but I'm not 100% satisfied. I actually have another trick up my
sleeve that I hope to be sharing with you soon.

vintage brass bird cage makeover painted white with LED string lights inside

Okay, so even if you liked the brass look, what say you now?

Vintage Hendryx Co. bird cage before and after collage

I just know I'll get more use out of it if it's white. I really did think the old brass
was kind of depressing looking. And the white is just so much more cheerful! 
I love the crisp, clean look.

vintage brass bird cage makeover painted white with LED string lights inside

How about you?

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Leave a Comment!

Kim Smith said...

I love the white bird cage . That is such a great idea. Great imagination.

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

I remember this cage. I really like your transformation and the addition of the lights is so clever.

NanaDiana said...

I like it so much better white--but that is just me. I think the disease you are talking about is called "white out" other words---get the WHITE spray paint OUT we are gonna paint something white! xo Diana

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I think painting it white was the right decision.
I looked for a long time for a mini looking chandelier for my vintage cage I bought several years ago, and never found one. Settled for a Xmas ornament that looks like one. Only one problem - it does not light up.
Love the old/vintage birdcages.

Crystal Grandeur said...

Very pretty bird cage. White gives a elegant look. You have done good job. Thank you.. Love sujatha:)

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I am all for painting things white! I love your birdcage and the stand with it is so pretty. I found an already white birdcage at a yard sale that I added a pendant light to and it is now a hanging swag light on my side porch.

The Speckled Hen Cottage said...

I'm right there with you I've been painting everything white for the past few years...once you start you just can't stop!!! I also like the crisp clean look of the birdcage now, good call. Best ~ Mickie

Ivy and Elephants said...

You know I'm a sucker for a birdcage, this one has my heart a flutter!
Gorgeous in the white, can't wait to see what you do!

handmade by amalia said...

Love the white cage! So fresh and pretty.

Gayla said...

It looks great. I think it's all about what you want and what goes well with your home. If that's white, then you did the exact right thing. You didn't remove the brass. It's still there if some day you decide to dip it and change it back. My parents had a shop they frequented that re-brassed and recoppered everything. It then had a cheerful, glossy coat. I love both the brass look and the white cheerful one. Mainly, I just love that bird cage. It's great. Be fun with a flameless candle in it, too. Or a magical pumpkin come fall... Hugs.

Jeannie Marie said...

You couldn't go wrong using it either way, it has such great lines and is such a great piece. I love the clean crisp look of white best, it's a decorators dream!

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