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The first real taxidermy work appeared in the mid 18th century in France and Germany long before it was produced in the UK and later there were many hundreds of taxidermists operating in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1st collection donated to the British Museum was by Sir Hans Sloane in 1753. The Great Exhibition of 1851 went a long way into developing the taxidermy art in Britain. Demand was so great during the victorian era that nearly every town had it's own taxidermist. Besides the large firms the majority of these taxidermists would have had another profession such as hairdresser, perfumer, tobacconist, stationer etc. one was even a policeman.
The first world war started a decline in taxidermy due to the loss of the men but also trends changed after the Victorian age and the Bird Protection Acts and the second world war finally brought the art to it's knees.
|Rowland Ward Buzzard
Box case of fantastic RW Buzzard
European Lynx in snow scene
Shot by King George at Welbeck Abbey in 1912
Fantastic example with painted backdrop
|Hutchings Barn Owl and Kestrel
Fantastic typical Hutchings case
|Arctic Skua by Richardson
|McLeay large case of badly faded Raptors
||Pair of Great Bustards||4 of the original Clungunford cases|
The Great Auk
Besides the Dodo the great Auk is probably the most iconic of all of the extinct birds. It is believed to have been wiped out in 1844 on the Icelandic Island of Eldey.