Victorian Taxidermy and the materials required.www.Taxidermy4cash.com


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The first principle governing the art is that, after the specimen has been procured, in as fresh and clean a state as may be, it should have the skin stripped from the body in such a manner as not to disturb the scales if a fish or a reptile, the feathers if a bird, or the fur or hair if a mammal. To do this correctly requires a small stock of tools, as well as a great amount of patience and perseverance. The appliances comprise several sharp knives (some pointed and some obtuse), a pair of scissors, a pair of pliers, a pair of nippers or "cutting-pliers," some tow, wadding, needles and thread, also a "stuffing-iron," some crooked awls, a pair of fine long flat-nosed pliers, and a camelhair brush. The preservative compound is often the original (Becoeur's) "arsenical soap," made by cutting up and boiling 2 lb of white soap, to which 12 OZ. of salt of tartar and 4 oz. of powdered lime (or whiting) are added when dissolved; to this mixture, when nearly cold, 2 lb of powdered arsenic and 5 oz. of camphor (the latter previously triturated in a mortar with spirits of wine) are added. The mixture is put away in small jars or pots for use. Like all arsenical preparations, this is exceedingly dangerous in the hands of unskilled persons, often causing shortness of breath, sores, brittleness of the nails and other symptoms; and, as arsenic is really no protection against the attacks of insects, an efficient substitute has been invented by Browne, composed of r lb of white curd soap and 3 lb of whiting boiled together, to which is added, whilst hot, 11 oz. of chloride of lime, and, when cold, i oz. of tincture of musk. This mixture is perfectly safe to use when cold (although when hot the fumes should not be inhaled, owing to the chlorine given off), and is spoken of as doing its work efficiently. Solutions of corrosive sublimate, often recommended, are, even if efficient, dangerous in the extreme. Powders consisting of tannin, pepper, camphor, and burnt alum are sometimes used for "making skins," but they dry them too rapidly for the purposes of "mounting." Mammals are best preserved by a mixture of i lb of burnt alum to 4 lb of saltpetre; this, when intimately mixed, should be well rubbed into the skin. Fishes and reptiles, when not cast and modelled, are best preserved in rectified spirits of wine; but this, when economy is desired, can be replaced by "Miiller's solution" (bichromate of potash 2 oz., sulphate of soda r oz., distilled water 3 pints) or by a nearly saturated solution of chloride of zinc. The cleaning of feathers and furs is performed by rubbing them lightly with wadding soaked in benzoline, afterwards dusting on plaster of Paris, which is beaten out, when dry, with a bunch of feathers.

The preparation and mounting of bird specimens, the objects most usually selected by the amateur, are performed in the following manner. The specimen to be operated upon should have its nostrils and throat closed by, plugs of cotton-wool or tow; both wing-bones should be broken close to the body, and the bird laid upon a table on its back; and, as birds - especially white-breasted ones - should seldom, if ever, be opened on the breast, an incision should be made in the skin under the wing on the side most damaged, from which the thigh protrudes when pushed up slightly; this is cut through at its junction with the body, when the knife is gently used to separate the skin from this, until the wing-bone is seen on the open side. This is then cut through by scissors, and by careful manipulation the skin is further freed from the back and breast until the neck can be cut off. The other side now remains to be dealt with; from this the wing is cut by travelling downwards, the remaining leg is cut away, and very careful skinning over the stomach and upon the lower back brings the operator to the tail, which is cut off, leaving a small portion of the bone (the coccyx) in the skin. The body now falls off, and nothing remains in the skin but the neck and head. To skin these out properly without unduly stretching the integument, is a task trying to the patience, but it can be accomplished by gradually working the skin away from the back of the head forward, taking care to avoid 1 Artistic and Scientific Taxidermy and Modelling (London, 1896).

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We are perhaps some of the largest collectors of taxidermy in the United Kingdom. We are always interested in purchasing taxidermy and anything with be considered and advice given if asked for. Collection considered for purchase can be either single items and or large collections. We do however specialise in Victorian taxidermy by then famous taxidermists. Please contact us either via the number contained within the site or via email, we would be delighted to talk with you and discuss what you have for sale. Many thanks Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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