In 1958 Kaipiainen returned to Arabia and this is when he began work on his famous beaded birds. These rare birds were crafted out of thousands of handmade beads created by Kaipiainen's assistant, Terho Reijonen. In 1960, Kaipiainen's large bead birds (curlews) were exhibited at the Milan Triennale where they won a Grand Prix. A version of the bird in the offered lot was put on a Finnish stamp, a testament to Kaipiainen's notoriety in the region.
A strong demand for works from the Arts & Crafts period could be seen throughout the Bonhams fall auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts (October 1). This sale brought more than $1.1-million and one of the highlights was ‘Bead Bird’ figure by Finnish artist, Birger Kaipiainen (est. $20,000-30,000, sold for $55,000).
The bird was acquired by the consignor in 1960 at the Arabia store in Helsinki, Finland.