A very eerie with these beautiful and disturbing earrings. A pair similar to this featuring male Red-legged Honeycreepers were shown at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia—and were the height of fashion. 💎🕊Late-19th-century jewelers often used insects and animal parts to decorate jewelry. In 1865 London jeweler Harry Emanuel patented a method to inset hummingbird heads, skins, and feathers into gold and silver mounts for earrings, necklaces, brooches, and fans. Exotic nectar feeders and native to the Americas like hummingbirds, honeycreepers are closely related to tropical tanagers and are found from Mexico to Brazil. They fascinated scientists, hunters, and collectors. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 banned this practice and protected countless bird species. See these on view in our exhibition "Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife." .
6 months ago
What do you know about the life of these beautiful birds today? 🤔👉 Learn more about the Red-legged Honeycreeper today from our friends and exhibition partners at the @usfws !
📸 Unidentified maker. Red-legged Honeycreeper hummingbird earrings, ca. 1865. Probably London, England. Preserved bird, gold, metal. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Z. Solomon and Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2013, 2013.143a, b.