Historical Works In Taxidermy

Ever since the rise of Taxidermy as a Science and an Art, a lot of great works have captured the attention of people, and the hearts of those who love Taxidermy.

In a long list of wonderful Taxidermy artworks, there are a few that has really caught the attention of the entire Taxidermy-loving population. These works can even be considered historic, in a sense, because of the way they made an impact in the world of Taxidermy, and because of the people who are behind these creations.

Some of these historical works are the following great works of art:

THE DUCHESS OF RICHMOND’S BIRD

Taxidermy
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Frances Stuart, the Duchess of Richmond and mistress to King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland (1649 – 1685) owned the oldest prevailing stuffed bird, which is believed to be an African Grey parrot. The bird, of which she was extremely tender to, can still be visited at the Westminster Abbey Museum in London, rested beside a life size wax statue of the Duchess herself. She entreated that the bird be preserved when it dies. However, she died first in 1702, followed by the bird shortly after.

KING GUSTAV ADOLPHUS’ STEED

Swedish King Steed
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Aside from crocodiles, it can be noted that only a few specimens were able to be correctly preserved and survived up to this generation. This just goes to show that taxidermists in the old times were not yet that equipped with the knowledge and skills that perfects the process. Most of the animals preserved for as old as the 1600 were horses and dogs, like this work of art of the steed of the Swedish King Gustav Adolphus. The steed was shot during the Thirty Year War. To make things worse, it was skinned and exhibited as a trophy by the German enemies.

ANTHROPOMORPHIC TAXIDERMY BY PLOUCQUET

This piece is one of the many wonderful pieces exhibited during “The Great Exhibition” in Hyde Park, London, in 1851. From the title of the piece and from the work of art itself, the taxidermist named Hermann Ploucquet was trying to showcase animals that were doing human activity. This entry by Ploucquet received great attention during the exhibit, actually noted as the one of the most visited exhibit, and this was in a crowd of around six million visitors. Queen Victoria was one of the visitors of the exhibit and wrote in her diary that this work by Ploucquet was “marvelous.”

Taxidermy
Image Credit: mentalfloss.com

These are just but a few of the many historical works of art in the field of taxidermy. Some people may find it a strange form of art, but for some, it is a unique art form that greatly depends on Science, and it is a very great way to preserve history and culture. It is also a very great tool to create stories and trigger human curiosity.

 

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