Learn about Taxidermy

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.

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Taxidermied bird under glass dome, English, 19th century, 37 cm high

Pair of cased Taxidermied birds, English, 19th century, 78 cm high, 35 cm wide, 20 cm deep

Cased set of taxidermied exotic birds, English, including a Toucan and a Quetzel (now extinct), 19th century, 82 cm high, 53 cm wide, 21 cm deep. Provenance: J B Hawkins Antiques

Vintage taxidermy bird in display case, width 33 cm X diameter 19.5 cm X height 36.5 cm approx

A taxidermy red tailed black cockatoo, on tree stump, in glass case, circa 1950.

A taxidermy English pike, cased in glass, circa 1890.

A taxidermy sparrowhawk, cased in glass, circa 1880.

Two taxidermy partridges and one other, cased in glass, circa 1880.

A Victorian cased taxidermy Otter, late 19th century. Height 67.5 cm. Width 126 cm. Depth 29 cm

A Victorian ornithological / Animalia, diorama, taxidermy, figure group, late 19th century, including Owls, Eagles, duck and various taxidermy, subjects housed in glass display case. Height 75 cm. Width 93 cm. Depth 30 cm

A Victorian ornithological / Animalia, diorama, taxidermy, figure group, late 19th century, including Owls, duck and various taxidermy subjects, housed in glass display case. Height 72 cm. Width 95 cm. Depth 26 cm

A taxidermy figure of a standing hedgehog, in original wall mounted glass sided cabinet with forest foliage and debris. Details on reverse. 'Caught at J. Forbes by T. Coutts, mounted by USP 1923. 45 cm x 26 cm x 39 cm

An antique bird diorama in a glass case, 19th to early 20th century, comprising approximately thirty Australian bird species including a lyrebird pair, frogmouth, various parrots, wading birds and others posed naturalistically upon branches in a mahogany f

Victorian cased diorama of a four Masted Frigate. 52 x 81 cm

A taxidermy Alexandria parrot in 19th century glass dome. 50 cm high

An Australian taxidermy Bower bird and Regent Rifle bird under glass dome, 19th century. 48 cm high, 32 cm diameter. Note: This lot has been identified at the time of cataloguing as containing organic material which may be subject to restrictions regrading

A large Australian bird diorama on stand, 19th century, 156 cm high, 103 cm wide, 30 cm high

An Australian bird diorama in a glazed cedar case, 19th century, 81 cm high, 62 cm wide, 22 cm deep

Antique diorama view of mill cottage and water wheel, in a simulated landscape, antique wooden framed case

A vintage taxidermy adult brown kiwi, standing on a circular ebonised plinth. Complete with display case, 46 x 43 cm

A cedar cased clipper ship diorama, Australian, 19th century, 41 cm high, 62.5 cm wide, 32.5 cm deep

An unusual cedar cased ship and shoreline diorama, Australian, 19th century, 41 cm high, 97.5 cm wide, 23.5 cm deep

A large multiple panel glazed tall ship diorama on stand, dated 1889, together with a photograph of the maker Mr. Crawford, 2nd prize winner at the Mechanics Institute, Hamilton, August 1889, 210 cm high, 138 cm wide, 45 cm deep

A framed nautical diorama with a masted ship, 19th century, 42 cm high, 71 cm wide

A gilt framed nautical diorama depicting a three masted ship, Australian, 19th century, 40 cm high, 45 cm wide

A pine relief carved diorama of a clipper ship in full sail, Australian, late 19th/20th century, 37 cm high, 51 cm wide

A small cased wooden tall ship diorama 'Stewart', late 19th/20th century, 20 cm high, 25.5 wide, 8.5 deep

Early glass dome containing taxidermied birds. 6 birds, including bird of Paradise. On wooden stand. Estate late Douglas Osborne Hawke. Height 85 cm. (total)

Small antique French diorama of a ship 'Marie' approx 14 cm high, 29 cm wide

A large Art Nouveau style glazed stoneware pot on stand, 20th century. 78 cm high

An antique taxidermy tiger's head in a display case decorated with naturalistic foliage etc. (taxidermist's label to the rear: a pollard - Furrier & Naturalist, London)

Taxidermied fairy penguin in glass dome, late 19th century. Dome 46 cm

A large and impressive group of fourteen African taxidermy bee and pollen eater birds, housed in a vintage glass dome. Height 62 cm