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 display case of New Guinea birds, displayed in a naturalistic setting and comprising a greater bird of Paradise, a Raggiana Bird of Paradise, a black naped oriole and a red throated Barbet 66 cm wide, 42 cm deep, 83 cm high (4)
Two displays of birds of paradise comprising a pair of adult Raggiana birds of paradise and a King bird of paradise, perched on a shell-strewn base in three glass case, and an adult lesser bird of paradise displaying above a black-breasted puff leg humming
Five birds of paradise displays comprising a pair of lesser birds of paradise in five glass case, three other displaying males of lesser birds of paradise, two of which are under domes, and a red bird of paradise male on a cage perch and under glass dome,
Two bird displays of an owl and a bird of paradise, comprising an adult snowy owl on a short mossy perch, and a male Raggiana bird of paradise displaying on a twig perch, both in architectural mahogany three glass cases, 81 cm and. Height 62 cm
Four exotic bird displays, comprising a greater bird of paradise female on a twig perch, two twelve-wired birds of paradise both under glass domes, and a pair of magnificent birds of paradise on log perch and in a five glass case
Two bird displays of curl-crested acari and Raggiana bird of paradise, the acari on a simple cage perch, the bird of paradise perched above a spotted pardalote and a ruby topaz, both under domes, 41 cm and 52 cm
A trio of male birds of paradise and a bower bird, standing on branch perches displaying their plumage, and comprising two adult male Raggiana birds of paradise and a regent bowerbird, in a Victorian mahogany four glass case on stand. Height 112 cm
A display of bowerbirds and birds of paradise, all males in breeding plumage and perched on branches, comprising two twelve-wired birds of paradise, a regent bowerbird and a magnificent bird of paradise, in ebonised five glass case. Height 69 cm
A cased Papua New Guinea bird of Paradise, the mounted bird in tawny white plumage with a yellow upper head and black throat in a glazed simplistic case, case. Height 51.5 cm. Length 52 cm. Width 41.2 cm
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