It’s been a while since I’ve posted an Odd Obsessions feature, but I’ve got a whole bunch of crazy gadgets, intriguing knickknacks, and fascinating places queued up for the next couple weeks. Today I’m featuring these pieces of Victorian jewelry adorned with real taxidermy hummingbird heads. Wouldn’t expect anything less strange from 19th century England.
Countering the Industrial Revolution, ladies of the mid-19th century ornamented themselves with bright feathers, fanciful stuffed birds, jewel-like beetle carcasses, and other ornitho- and entomological specimen in an attempt to reconnect with nature. These particular hummingbird pieces were created with traditional taxidermy methods and often include the skull still intact. The beaks were plated with gold and the eyes replaced with jewels like pearls or rubies. Fixed to gold settings, Victorian women then wore them as earrings or brooches as a statement of their naturalist sentiments.