Curious Trends

02/04/2011

Antique taxidermy


Whilst fans of design art are drawn to contemporary taxidermy by the likes of Polly Morgan, seasoned collectors have been snapping up the finest antique stuffed animals for quite a while.




Animal trophies are still fashionable, especially as decorative pieces for ski chalet type interiors and to add character to country houses. Collectors wishing to recreate their own cabinets of curiosity are usually regulars at specialist auctions. However, interior designers are now buying taxidermy to order at international trade fairs.



Victorian taxidermy is hot property. Rarely available scenes of animals presented in human poses, of the type created by Walter Potter, are especially sought after. When Potter’s Museum of Curiosities was broken up and sold in 2003, the 10,000 item collection fetched more than half a million pounds and purchasers included the photographer David Bailey, along with pop artist, Peter Blake.

Some of the most impressive examples of Victorian taxidermy can be seen in natural history museums around the world. These exhibits are on display at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris:





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