Accession Number
983.491 a-b
a. A wire and sheet metal birdcage with removable clean-out tray, the cage walls parted in two locations to facilitate insertion of the two clear pressed-glass feeders. b. a metal stand with a circular hoop at the top from which the cage hangs.
History of Use
This Victorian birdcage and stand was acquired by The Castle Society in about 1980. Its history of use before then is not known.

The story of its acquisition and use by The Castle Society is related by former Society employee Mauro Giovanni Marcello Azzara:

"I remember pitching the idea of getting a canary for the Castle to Mr. Nesbitt. He reluctantly agreed, provided that I would look after him and find a period-appropriate cage for him.  His main concern was regarding public backlash over the cruelty of keeping a caged animal on-site.  I reminded him that it would have been culturally appropriate during the Dunsmuir years and that having a live songbird would fill the castle with song (something that went by the wayside since the  conservatory moved out.

We got a rather rotund bird, and named him "Winston" after Winston Churchill. During his moulting stage, as is typical, he stopped singing.

 'He's a DUD!' Nesbitt would bellow.  I had to reassure him that it was only temporary.

 If memory serves me right, little Winston sang his little heart out at the end of our wedding ceremony in the drawing room.  He did indeed contribute an added dimension to the Castle."

Winston lived in this cage in the bay window of Craigdarroch's drawing room for three or four years. Mr. Nesbitt's prediction of visitor complaints about having a caged bird in the Castle proved correct. Complaints generally centred around the small size of the cage.

Winston died of natural causes three or four years after he came to live in the Castle. He was buried outside, beneath the library bay window.  

circa 1895
Metal; Paint, powder; Glass
Painted; Bent; Cut; Stamped