Regarded as a distinguished taxidermist with a particular interest in birds, Shaw was active in Shropshire during much of the 19th century. With his brother John (1816-88), he learnt the trade from his father, who ran a small business in Shoplatch.
Shaw’s skill, and it seems his affable nature, helped him develop good relations with wealthy clients and he secured a number of notable patrons. He was entrusted to handle rare specimens, most famously the great auk, a large flightless bird that became extinct in the mid-19th century.
A Victorian rosewood case of taxidermy by Shaw is up for sale at Brightwells on February 14 in Leominster – 50 miles from where it was originally made in Shropshire.
Consigned from a private source on the continent, the case contains introduced and native British game birds and mammals and is estimated at £500-800.
Last week’s column included an incorrect sale date for the Royal Society of Marine Artists’ Diploma Collection at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Norfolk. The correct date is February 9.
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