Taxidermy is the art of mounting or reproducing animals for display or study and in the past the word has been associated with large gloomy Victorian houses filled with stuffed animals. However in recent years, taxidermy has emerged from the shadows as a collecting area in its own right and in the United Kingdom there are now dealers who deal only in taxidermy. In Victorian times, taxidermists performed a valuable service, bringing wildlife into homes and allowing the inhabitants to see real birds and mammals at close quarters. They could also create trophies to provide mementoes of a good day's fishing or hunting. The value of taxidermy specimens is enhanced by the presence of an original label detailing when and where the specimen was obtained and by a trade label of the taxidermist, the most sought after being Rowland Ward of London. In assessing a taxidermied specimen, the potential buyer should carefully study the colours and brightness of the specimen, the eyes, the detail of the groundwork, style and condition of the case and the rarity of the species. Worm or insect eaten specimens, fading, and other damage substantially reduce the value of taxidermied items.
A silver mounted polar bear skull with gaping jaws and three removable silver beakers. 25 cm high, 31 cm long. The skull was part of the Archive of Gordon Burt, OBE (Christie's Australia, 28 November 1996, Lot 472). Gordon Burt was the Engineer on the 1925
A bear skin rug, the mounted head with open mouth, the paws complete with all claws, dark brown dominant colourway with tan highlights, the brown and black cloth backing with fine zig-zag fringe. Length 1250
An impressive half mounted bear skin, the head in full mount with open mouth showing teeth, complete with claws, the conforming red cloth fringing with hand stitched grey backing, complete with taxidermist's label for 'Tocher and Tocher Taxidermists, Fraze
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