Antique French pivoting lark mirror from the first half of the 19th century; it is a bird hunting decoy or lure for birds and a piece of fowling folk art. Birds are attracted to shiny objects and this ancestor to the decoys used today was popular in 19th century Europe. This is a fine piece, and unusual in the way its metal prong shaped base sticks in the soil, thereby allowing the top to swivel around, emitting a glittering light that attracts birds. None of the tiny blue and clear glass mirrors are missing and trapezoid shape, made of wood, swivels nicely. The blades of the bottom half are adjustable to stick into a variety of ground cover. Just below the swivel brass piece that swivels and the top of the scissor-like prongs, are the raised letters “Brevet”, translated as “Patent” and a number. Below that are more letters I can’t make out. On the other side is the number “737” which was hand stamped. The modern French patent system began in 1790 with the French Revolution, so this piece can’t be older than that date. Very good condition, and for the collector of objects of hunting and folk art as well as many other areas. Maximum Width of the trapezoidal top: 10 inches Some internet text gives some history of lark mirrors: Lark mirrors are likely to have evolved from observations that animals and birds were drawn to water. Still waters often reflect like mirrors do. This could have led to a common practice of baiting traps for both mammals and birds with mirrors. Clearchus of Soli (C 340 BC) wrote that in ancient Greece, mirrors were set up in runs with snares so that birds attracted by their reflection were caught in nooses…. References to the practice of baiting traps with mirrors can also be found in a number of early hunting manuals such as the book of Roy Modus, written in 1379 [Fèrrières 1932]. Other references are given in Duynoyer de Noirmont (1868). The next step, in which pieces of mirrors were stuck to a piece of wood which could be moved or spun at speed, brought about the invention of the lark mirror. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Metalware\Cast Iron”. The seller is “lillieprice” and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Republic of Croatia, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French Guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macau, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion.
- Modified Item: No
- Handmade: No