Tag Archives: taxidermy

Zebra leg lamp

zebra leg lamp

Its arrived! After purchasing a vintage zebra leg lamp on ebay a while ago and using it as a bedside lamp, I set my mind to finding one to match. Not an easy task as it turned out.

My quest set me on a journey till I found Scott Rice of Rice’s Taxidermy in the USA. Scott worked his magic and yesterday I collected the finished lamp.

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Polar bear taxidermy

stuffed polar bear

Stuffed polar bear from Deyrolle, Paris

Top on my list of taxidermy purchases – well ones that I currently can’t afford anyway, is a polar bear. Ethically sourced, vintage and a couple of hundred years old (although in perfect condition) of course.

For interior design impact there isn’t much that could compare with the sight of a polar bear on its hind legs in your hallway or bay window.

polar bear

Polar bear in private collection, previously from Fox's Mints

This example for instance hails from Fox’s Mints and now resides (you can sense my envy) in a private house.

The history of stuffed polar bears is checkered certainly – in this Telegraph article a polar bear which became the symbol of Fox’s Glacier mints has been put on display at a museum after more than 40 years hidden from view.

For those seeking one of their own a good piece in fine condition can go for anything from £10 – 25k upwards. If you have one do get in touch.

Stuffed english fox head from 1916

Recent addition to my ever growing collection of vintage taxidermy – Fantastic Mr Fox!

fox head

taxidermy english fox head 1916

taxidermy english fox head 1916

Vintage image of a gorilla (taxidermy) by Rowland Ward

ROWLAND WARD COLLECTION

There is something great about this vintage image of a gorilla animal mount from the Rowland Ward collection, displayed Rowland Ward workshops Piccadilly, London.

Trout eating stuffed otter

A rather fine example of a trout eating otter, this one is to be found in the club house at Amwell Magna fishery in Hertfordshire. A very fitting animal for this area as an abundance of wildlife is to be found there.

stuffed stoat eating troat

stuffed stoat eating troat

Thomas Grünfeld’s Misfits

Thomas Grünfeld misfits

Artist Thomas Grünfeld’s ‘Misfits’ is a series of taxidermy specimens of multiple species reconfigured according to the artist’s imagination. At Galerie Jousse Seguin three of these ‘still lives’ are displayed in a glass case. Grünfeld’s creatures, rather than raising issues of visual perception or the politics of style, make reference to a popular storytelling tradition from southern Germany – the politics here are symbolic. Called wolperfinger, the stories tell of improbable animals with human traits. Like most folk tales, they are moralistic; suggesting that Grünfeld’s strange pets are meant to put us face to face with our principles. By manipulating Mother Nature, in the form of antlered animals with webbed feet or furry specimens with wings, Grünfeld seems to wander into a dialectic territory: the real versus the imaginary and, perhaps, eventually good versus evil.

Thomas Grünfeld misfits

Burnt, stuffed and reborn, the story of Deyrolle

Deyrolle, Paris

Deyrolle is a Parisian institution but behind this wonderous collection of curios there is a story as rich and enticing as the many creatures and treasures found behind its wooden doors. Vanity Fair profiled the story in a wonderful article (which can be found in its entirity here) but here are the highlights:

Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle, a renowned entomologist, founded his taxidermy business in 1831. He passed on the store and his passion for the natural sciences to his son Achille, who became famous for mounting a Ceylonese elephant. (For reasons that are not hard to imagine, pachyderm taxidermy is among the most difficult and intricate kinds.) Achille’s son Émile moved Deyrolle to its fabled premises, at 46 Rue du Bac, in 1888. By then, the enterprise included not only taxidermy but also scientific equipment and furniture, along with printing and publishing, and employed more than 300 people. The Deyrolles were especially famous for their educational posters, which were translated into numerous languages and sold throughout the world. Deyrolle continued as a family business until 1978, when it was sold and fell into a period of slow decline.

deyrolle-interior21

Then its current proprietor Louis Albert (Prince Louis Albert de Broglie – who is known as the Prince Jardinier—the Gardener Prince—for the eponymous gardening-equipment line he has created, but who should more accurately be called the Tomato Prince – he grows 650 varieties on his estate, the Château de la Bourdaisière, in the Loire Valley) took charge. No one expected Louis Albert to bring Deyrolle back to its former glory—or more. But that is exactly what he did. He completely overhauled the establishment, refurbishing the ground floor, removing all the small offices on the second, and bringing the wood paneling back to its original 18th-century condition. Meanwhile, he immersed himself in the far-flung affairs of Deyrolle, convincing collectors and suppliers alike of his serious commitment to entomology and taxidermy. In time, the great collections were restored to their haunting magnificence.

deyrolle

Then at 5:45 on the morning of Friday, February 1, 2008 the telephone rang at the Paris apartment of Prince Louis Albert de Broglie and his wife, Françoise. The call was from a security company, alerting Louis Albert that Deyrolle was on fire. The fire raged and destroyed a huge proportion of the interior, some of the exhibits were saved but many were scorched to unrecognisable forms. In the aftermath the French minister of culture has wrote a letter to natural-history museums in France, asking them to lend a hand in whatever way they can. The venerable house of Hermès has issued a silk scarf, named “Plumes,” in a limited edition, with proceeds going to benefit Deyrolle. “The fire stunned everyone,” says François Curiel, the chairman of Christie’s in Europe, “because Deyrolle is an institution, a time capsule that seemed always to exist and would remain forever.” Thanks to a chance encounter a few days after the fire between Louis Albert and Adrien Meyer, head of the furniture department at Christie’s Paris, an auction to raise funds for the reconstruction of Deyrolle was quickly organized.

So the story of Deyrolle continues, rebuilt and standing to this very day at 46 rue du Bac, Paris VII.