The History of Victorian Taxidermy (and Taxidermists) Compiled!

Practical Collecting & Preserving Trophies dated 1891 by Rowland Ward

As much as I'm on Ebay, the auctions tend to be more like online shopping than real pot boilers for me. I type in my maximum and let the fates decide. This however was not the case last year when I bid on a black goat head stuffed in 1923 by the New York Museum of Natural History's top taxidermist. Some carcass loving fanatic swooped in within the last five seconds and stole my prize right out from under me. My stomach fell to my feet, my jaw to the table. People might feel similarly over a death or a natural disaster. Perhaps that evil bidder was linked to the Brits behind, which claims to be a group of the UK's largest and most dedicated Victorian taxidermy collectors. The look of the site leaves a lot to be desired, but the information is priceless. On top of the countless images of the stuffed animals, you get full histories of the men who immortalized them.

Victorian invoice relating to a Horses Hoof from Rowland Ward.

African trip, where Carl Ethan Akeley nearly lost his life. The New York Natural History Museum


  1. HH - do not get sucked in. Taxidermy 4 cash is nothing more than a disgruntled collector who resents paying for what he wants. His name on ebay was nomorebargings. He hates the fact that others value it more than he does.
    Many of the items pictured on his site have been lifted from auction catalogues. I know because we own at least 3 of them.
    I find him galling to say the least, and no better than the weasel. I keep hoping karma will visit him like a band of Cossacks, but she seems to be taking her sweet time.

  2. Whether or not he was the lucky, sneaky goat winner, that's certainly not good behavior. But pretty incredible that you own three of anything on that site! I do love the Akeley postcard. My aunt, uncle and cousin almost faced a similar fate when an enraged elephant chased their Land Rover on a recent South African safari. They managed to catch the whole thing on video.

  3. I was just going to ask you if you had gone on safari yet. I haven't but it's at the top of my list of things to do if for no reason other than to buy a real zebra skin rug. I even dated a South African in the hopes that he would take me. No such luck!

  4. I haven't - but if and when I do, I think I'll try to hit Kenya. The safari aspects were supposedly amazing in South Africa, but the shopping was awful! My grandma used to have three zebra rugs. I must poke around to find out what happened to them!