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 vintage leopard skin rug (Panthera Pardus). Early 20th century. The full pelt rug with taxidermic head with snarling expression, the skin mounted on black cotton fabric with black felt edging. Length 221 cm. Width 143 cm
An Australian 49 pelt platypus skin rug. 132 x 155 cm. This rug was acquired by the vendor from John Bovill, now deceased, in 1997. The rug had been in Mr Bovill's family, residents of Tasmania, since the pelts were collected in the late 19th and early 20t
A pair of old rhinoceros horns, from the one animal with section of hide attached. Length approx. 40 cm and 20 cm. Total weight 2.75kgs. Provenance: This pair of horns comes from a rhinoceros shot by Colonel J.H. Wright of the British Army, while in Kenya
An antique lion skin rug (Panthera Leo), late 19th century, a mature female lion, the pelt complete with taxidermic head and all paws, the whole mounted on hand stitched crimped beige and orange felt and further mounted onto a woollen tartan backing. Lengt
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