Taxidermy & Natural History

Taxidermy, the art of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of animals for display, has been practiced on many vertebrate species, including mammals, fish, reptiles, birds and amphibians for a long time.

The early taxidermy pioneers date back to the 18th century, although the golden age of animal conservation was largely during the Victorian era, in part a result of increasing interest in the natural world and travel further afield.


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Big fish in a large pond: Angling antique to star at Shepton Mallet flea

04 December 2021

A prize-winning fish is among the treasures to be found at next week’s Shepton Flea Market.

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Moose not on the loose

22 November 2021

Leering 4ft 7in (1.4m) out from the saleroom wall and with a 4ft 2in (50cm) antlers spread, a massive taxidermy moose head and shoulders was the major trophy at the best-yet biannual Country and Sporting sale at Mitchells (22% buyer’s premium).

Triceratops skeleton

‘Big John’ triceratops skeleton sells for €5.5m (£4.7m) in Paris

23 October 2021

The largest triceratops skeleton ever discovered has been sold in France by Binoche et Giquello.

Triceratops dinosaur skeleton

Largest triceratops skeleton ever discovered comes to auction in France

04 September 2021

The fossilised remains of 'Big John', the largest triceratops dinosaur ever discovered, will be offered by Paris auction house Binoche et Giquello next month.

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Thai deer points to a high value

19 April 2021

Estimated at £60-80 but sold at £11,500, this set of 14-point deer antlers provided Martel Maides (17.5% buyer’s premium) with a sensational result.

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Gloucestershire auction offers far from your normal antiques and collectables line-up

05 April 2021

With hindsight, the boast made by the Flying Steam Company – 'To China in Twenty-Four Hours Certain' – was a tad ambitious.

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Pick of the week: Up, up and away for £3.3m Aynhoe Park auction dispersal

25 January 2021

Some of the most eagerly contested lots in the Aynhoe Park: The Celebration of a Modern Grand Tour sale held by Dreweatts in Oxfordshire on January 20-21 were those created by the owner of the property himself.

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The stuff of collectors’ dreams

25 January 2021

Cases of Australian animals stand out among a family home taxidermy treasure trove

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Rowland Ward went Down Under

21 December 2020

Australian species pack into a Rowland Ward taxidermy tableau sold for £4000 in Guernsey auction.

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Pick of the week: Replica great auk is real winner at auction

19 October 2020

A Rowland Ward replica of a great auk – the flightless seabird that became extinct in the mid 19th century – sold at auction in Gloucestershire for £25,000.

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Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton sets auction record in New York

07 October 2020

A complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton was hammered down at $27.5m (£21.3m) at Christie’s New York.

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Kiwi taxidermy quartet draw major interest at Windsor Auctions

07 September 2020

A Victorian taxidermy case of four New Zealand birds by Rowland Ward of Piccadilly sold for an unexpected £7000 (estimate £100-200) at Windsor Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) in Berkshire.

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Squirrels taxidermy diorama is a big deal

06 July 2020

The 252-lot Natural History and Taxidermy auction at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) on June 19 included this Victorian anthropomorphic diorama of card-playing, cigar-smoking red squirrels, c.1870-1900.

Taxidermy penguin

Taxidermy penguin from Scott’s doomed Antarctica expedition attracts attention at Sworders

11 March 2020

A taxidermy Adélie penguin collected by scientists during the Terra Nova Antarctic Expedition from 1910-1913 drew strong interest at an auction in Essex this week.

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Treasures of the natural world (but in skeletal or stuffed form…)

02 December 2019

Extinct for 65 million years, dinosaurs continue to rule the world of children visiting the National History Museum, of multi-million dollar movie makers – and of bidders at the Evolution Sales at Summers Place Auctions (25% buyer’s premium).

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Fur flies in taxidermy oddity

24 June 2019

‘Boxing Badgers’ is one of just two known occasions when the celebrated taxidermist Peter Spicer (1839-1935) ventured into the strange world of the anthropomorphic tableau.

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Pick of the week: Heavyweight bid as Aztec mosaic made of feathers sells to Paris museum

03 June 2019

A remarkable example of 16th century cross-culture art – a feather ‘mosaic’ picture made in Mexico for Christian conquerors – has been purchased at auction by the Musée du Quai Branly.

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Dodo skeleton pieced together by 19th century naturalist features among specimens of extinction at Christie’s auction

29 April 2019

A near-complete dodo skeleton found and assembled in the 19th century features in Christie’s Science and Natural History sale next month.

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We’re back: Skeleton of rediscovered dinosaur species exhibited in Heathrow Airport before going up for auction in France

08 April 2019

A 155m-year-old one-of-a-kind diplodocus skeleton has been moved from the shale beds of Wyoming to Heathrow Terminal Five, a stopover on its way to auction in France.

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Fairs form a natural approach to source stock

18 February 2019

Two owners of antiques and vintage businesses who buy extensively from fairs and markets in the UK are showcased here.

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