Vintage Folk Art Martin Bird House. American, Circa 1920’s

This is an authentic “used” Martin Bird House which was used to attract Martin birds to nest, because of their propensity to eat and consume insects such as mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. Martin birds are migratory birds related to the Swallow family and nest in the spring in the north eastern United States. They would have inhabited the house seasonally, and several Martin bird families could have lived in this same house because of the multiplicity of entrances and because of the wall divisions of the interior. Several original glass panes still front five of the windows.

This bird house was found in an estate in upstate New York in the 1970’s. Judging by the paint, the wood construction, and method of acquisition and discussions with the family, I date this Martin Bird House to the late 1920’s. The barn wood base is tongue and grooved and may have been from either floor boards or siding at one time (see image). An iron or metal perch bar for birds to rest on, surrounds the perimeter of the structure. This bar is connected by six small posts attached to the base. Two barn wood type wood blocks make up the construction of the chimneys. The house is in original hand painted green paint, with an original white undercoat. The roof maintains its original brown paint. There are remnants of old bird’s nests inside the two upper end windows, indicating that the bird house was used at some point in time (see images).

While still serviceable in the garden for attracting birds, I have chosen to display it indoors as a piece of folk art to preserve it’s original integrity. The bird house is a nice, large size; it is substantial, sturdy, well built, and in excellent all original condition. This Martin Bird House is a representative piece of Americana and a wonderful example of American folk art.

Dimensions: 21″ long x 16 1/2″ wide x 17 1/2″ high

American Circa 1920's c.H: 17 1/2"W: 16 1/2"D: 21"