Anthropomorphic taxidermy, Walter Potter, some hate him some love him, you decide.www.Taxidermy4cash

by - Date: 2006-12-12 - Word Count: 1264 Share This!

Squirrels playing cards, kittens taking tea and bunnies learning their ABC will be among the extraordinary and intriguing lots to be sold when international fine art auctioneers Bonhams sell the contents of Mr Potter's Museum of Curiosities in Cornwall on 23/24th September. Close to 10,000 items will be sold, including 6,000 stuffed animals from the Victorian period collected by eccentric Walter Potter and still a major tourist attraction in the area.

The sale will be held at the museum, which is housed at the Jamaica Inn in Launceston, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall - a location immortalised by Daphne du Maurier's novel of the same name. The collection has been catalogued by a team of specialists led by Jon Baddeley, Group Head of the Collectors Department at Bonhams. He said, "The Potter's Museum Collection is without doubt one of the most unusual and eccentric collections ever to have been offered for sale. The ability of the exhibits of taxidermy to shock and entertain visitors today to the same extent as they were reported to have done 150 years ago, is remarkable. I very rarely use the word unique when describing pieces but the Potter's Museum catalogue has very many examples - a truly wonderful collection that will draw collectors to the Jamaica Inn from far and wide".

Established more than 160 years ago, the museum is based on the collection of taxidermy formed by Walter Potter (1835-1918) while living in Bramber, Sussex. As a boy, he taught himself to preserve birds and animals, and began his collection soon after leaving school. His first specimen was his pet canary, which is now more than 160 years old and one of the oldest pieces in the museum. The son of a Bramber innkeeper, Potter exhibited his taxidermy in the White Lion Inn and in doing so, created an added feature that attracted many new customers.

Taxidermy was used by the Victorians to study and understand animals and their physiology. In the late 1800s, it was thought fashionable to have deceased pets stuffed and cased, or mounted, and on display. Since there were no cinemas, and photography was very basic, it also allowed many people to see wild and exotic animals that they may not have seen before, or perhaps again.

The early years in Bramber saw Potter's collection grow so large that a special building was built opposite his father's inn to house it. Potter's main income came from private commissions to preserve people's pets. One example, a dog called Spot, belonged to Charles Charman, a local sportsman living near Bramber. One day, when in hot pursuit of a rat, Spot jumped out of a stable window and broke his shoulder. He was hurt so badly that he was put down. Charman commissioned Potter to preserve Spot who is now exhibit no.238 in the Museum of Curiosities. Incidentally, Spot was such a superb rat catcher that he provided many of the rats used in Potter's tableaux.

Potter is best known for his arrangement of animals in anthropomorphic scenes. The Squirrels' Club is one of his most famous, showing 18 European red squirrels socialising at their 'club'. The creatures are seen sitting around tables enjoying a few glasses of port and a hand of poker (£4,000-6,000). Potter's The Death of Cock Robin is considered another masterpiece. Finished in 1861, the intricate tableau took seven years to complete, contains 98 specimens of British birds and is regarded as one of the most sought-after and important arrangements in the collection. Potter's inspiration for the display came after seeing the story of Cock Robin illustrated in a nursery rhyme book belonging to his sister, Jane (£5,000-7,000).

Another, The Kittens' Wedding, was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum three years ago in a special exhibition titled Inventing New Britain - The Victorian Vision. As one of the largest and most impressive scenes in the sale, it is expected to fetch in excess of £8,000. It was completed in 1898 and documented by the museum as Potter's last large work. When it was made, the Victorians deemed Potter's arrangement as a major achievement of taxidermy. Even more remarkable is that all the animals are fully clothed. The kittens even wear frilly knickers under their formal attire!

The Bunnies' School shows typical classroom scenes in 1888 with four classes and a total of 48 rabbits dressed as school children. Again Potter's attention to detail is staggering. The younger rabbits are writing with chalk on slate, presumably learning handwriting, while the older ones use ink on paper. Some rabbits are doing needlework and others stand reading about the opening of Westminster Bridge in 1862 (£3,000-5,000).

Rare wild animals in the collection include a Wandering Albatross that has been part of the collection since the 1880s. It has what is claimed to be the biggest wingspan of any bird in the world measuring 9ft 10inches, and is one of several record breakers in the sale. A stuffed elephant's head (£2,000-3,000), a polar bear (£4,000-6,000), camel (£1,000-1,500), giraffe (£1,500-2,000) and a black rhino's head (£5,000-8,000) are also to be sold.

An impressive grizzly bear in the collection may be recognised by viewers of the hit 1970s BBC TV sitcom Steptoe & Son. Seen every week in Steptoe's living room, the bear is estimated at £2,000-3,000. Another animal to achieve notoriety in the public domain is a stuffed puma used in a hoax pulled off by The Daily Mirror. Photographed prowling the back streets of Surrey in 1966, the puma convinced the British public that a wild beast was on the loose (£1,000-2,000). Smaller animals in the collection include the well-loved ferret known for roaming around the trousers of Compo in BBC TV's Last of the Summer Wine (£150-200).

More unusual pieces include a selection of so-called 'freaks', that is, animals born with severe abnormalities. A two-headed lamb, a two-faced kitten and a duck with four legs were all given to the museum by local farmers, and stuffed by Potter to retain their rare and unusual characteristics. In Victorian times, the shocking disfigurements were found intriguing and drew many visitors to the museum.

The collection has been based in several locations and under various ownerships, but now belongs to Mr and Mrs John Watts, proprietors of The Jamaica Inn. The sale of the museum, and its possible relocation to America, was rumoured in the national press in 1986. When the couple read the article they were spurred into action and viewed it immediately. Mr Watts says 'We fell in love with the collection and its eccentricity, and ended up buying it'.

The Jamaica Inn premises were undergoing an extension to build 10 extra bedrooms when the couple viewed the museum. Mr and Mrs Watts decided not to go ahead with the original plans, but to display the collection in the new building. As a result, the Jamaica Inn has been home to Mr Potter's Museum of Curiosities for the past 17 years. During this time, with advice and guidance from Dr. Pat Morris, a leading authority on taxidermy in the UK, Mr. and Mrs. Watts, with the late Mike Grace, their resident taxidermist, have restored and maintained the entire collection.

The Museum attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year, and although the stuffed animals are one of the main attractions, it keeps a large selection of other curiosities under the same roof such as fossils, glass eyes, Victorian greetings cards, dolls' houses, African spears, juke boxes, Queen Victoria's enamel bath from the Royal Train, coral, tools, badges, a selection of hat pins, scent bottles and the world's biggest shoe, which was on show at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

Related Tags: guide, antique, safari, hobbies, protection, salmon, waterfowl, guides, latino, trout, brooks, creation, breeds, history, hobby, art, lakes, museum, society, edwardian, landscape, ponds, mountains, rivers, forests, latin, scientific, artistic, antarctica, preservation, species, pike, arctic, wading, conservation, punishment, conservationist, traps, marina, rowland ward, peter spicer, taxidermist, taxidermied, stuffed, mounted, james gardner, shooting victorian, cased birds, joseph cullingford, henry shaw, specimens, preserved, cured skins, tanned hides, victorian freaks, mounted specimens, cased fish, preserved fish, taxidermied fish, preserved mammals.te gunn, walter lowne, ec saunders, bill cox of liverpool, robert duncan, thomas gunn, edward booth. charles thorpe, ja cole, roberts of norwich, john sayer, fe gunn, abraham dee bartlett, great exhibition, john gould, john james audubon, victorian collecting, carl akeley, charles darwin, charles watterton, james hutchings, thomas jefferies, george bazeley, john cooper & sons, wf homer, george herd, w lowne, pratt&sons, mountney, h murray, t salkeld, leadbetter, william hope, small & sons, james kirk, e allen, as hutchinson, brazenor, pd malloch, fc waters, ac waters, hn pashley, john cole, ch bisshopp, john macpherson, g white, c yeoman, walter potter, edwin ward, te gunn, griggs, saunders, et booth, great auk, passenger pigeon, thomas peachy, pratt of brighton, cased mammals, arsenic, formalin, tannic acid, pickled jars, formaldehyde, cabinet skins, carolina parakeet, tench, roach, bream, perch, grayling, rudd, chubb, taxidermy supplies, wildcat, taxidermy pictures, jonas brothers taxidermy, taxidermy4cash, axidermy suppliers, taxidermy dealers, taxidermy collectors, hawfinch taxidermy, antique taxidermy, taxidermist prices, taxidermy cost, van ingen taxidermy, taxidermy pike, potters museum, replica birds eggs, taxidermy forums, taxidermy laws, taxidermy uk sea eagle, taxidermy - hutchings heron, fish taxidermy, fox mask, badger mask, otter mask, bird taxidermy, otter taxidermy, vingoe taxidermist, taxidermy cases, tony armitstead, quatremain watercolour, taxidermist museum essex, van ingen & van ingen mysore, taxidermy for sale, preserved mammals, taxidermy suppliers, quatremain, watercolour, het staaltje, museo, taxidermie, taxidermia, taxidermista, taxidermiste, exemplar, esemplare, specimen, il taxidermist, victorian farcito, montato, di fucilazione, uccelli messi, esemplari, pelli conservate e curate, abbronzate si nasconde, freaks di victorian, esemplari montati, pesci messi, pesci conservati, taxidermied i pesci, mammiferi conservati, mammiferi messi, arsenico, formalina, acido tannico, vasi marinati, formaldeide, pelli di armadietto, scientifiche, luccio, tinca, triotto, abramide, pertica, salmone, trota, rifornimenti taxidermy, gatto selvatico, immagini taxidermy, taxidermy, fornitori taxidermy, commercianti taxidermy, collettori taxidermy, hawfinch taxidermy taxidermy e antico, prezzi di taxidermist, costo taxidermy, luccio taxidermy e taxidermy, museo dei vasai, uova degli uccelli della replica, tribune taxidermy, leggi taxidermy, aquila britannica taxidermy del mare, taxidermy - il heron di hutchings, pesca taxidermy, la mascherina della volpe, la mascherina del tasso, la mascherina della lontra, luccello taxidermy, la lontra taxidermy, il taxidermist del vingoe, gli argomenti taxidermy, il armitstead tony, il quatremain, il watercolour, essex del museo di taxidermist, taxidermy per la vendita, lo staaltje del het, il museo, il taxidermie, il taxidermia, il taxidermista, il taxidermiste, il exemplar, curios, ha marinato gli esemplari, el taxidermist, victorian relleno, montado, que tiraba, pjaros encajonados, especmenes, pieles preservadas, curadas, bronceadas oculta, los monstruos de victorian, especmenes montados, pescados encajonados, pescados preservados, taxidermied los pescados, mamferos preservados, los pescados encajonados, mamferos encajonados, arsnico, cido tnico, tarros conservados en vinagre, formaldehdo, pieles de gabinete, cientficas, lucio, tenca, escarcho, brema, perca, salmn, trucha, fuentes taxidermy, gato monts, cuadros taxidermy, surtidores taxidermy, distribuidores taxidermy, colectores taxidermy, hawfinch taxidermy taxidermy, antiguo, precios del taxidermist, coste taxidermy, lucio taxidermy, museo de los potters, huevos de los pjaros de la reproduccin, foros taxidermy, leyes taxidermy, guila britnica taxidermy del mar, taxidermy - el heron de los hutchings, mscara del zorro, mscara del tejn, mscara de la nutria, pjaro taxidermy, nutria taxidermy, taxidermist del vingoe, casos taxidermy, armitstead tony, essex del museo del taxidermist, taxidermy para la venta, staaltje del het, el taxidermiste, el exemplar, espcimen, objetos curiosos, conserv en vinagre especmenes, o taxidermist, victorian enchido, disparando, pssaros encaixotados, museu, espcimes, peles preservadas, tanned esconde, freaks de victorian, espcimes montados, peixes encaixotados, peixes preservados, taxidermied peixes, mamferos encaixotados, arsnico, cido tannic, frascos pickled, peles de armrio, pique, barata, vara, timalo, salmo, truta, fontes taxidermy, retratos taxidermy, fornecedores taxidermy, negociantes taxidermy, coletores taxidermy, preos do taxidermist, custo taxidermy, pique taxidermy, museu dos potters, ovos dos pssaros do replica, forums taxidermy, leis taxidermy, guia britnica taxidermy do mar, taxidermy - o heron dos hutchings, mscara da raposa, mscara do texugo, mscara da lontra, pssaro taxidermy, lontra taxidermy, taxidermist do vingoe, argumentos taxidermy, essex do museu do taxidermist, taxidermy para a venda, staaltje do het, espcime, objetos antigos, os espcimes pickled, proppet, montert, skyte viktoriansk, cased fugler, eksemplarer, bevart, kurert huder, brunet huder, viktoriansk sringer, montert eksemplarer, bevart fish, bevart mammals, tannic syre, pickled rystelser, skaphuder, vitenskapelig, spiss, laks, rret, taxidermy forsyninger, taxidermy bilder, antikk taxidermy, taxidermist priser, taxidermy kostnad, taxidermy spiss, pottemakermuseum, kopifuglegg, taxidermy fora, taxidermy lover, taxidermy uk sjrn, revmaske, grevling tilslrer, otter maske, fugl taxidermy, taxidermy tilfeller, taxidermy til salgs, eksemplar, pickled eksemplarer, volproppene, bestegen, schietend, staaltjes, taxidermied vis, arsenicum, gepekeld potten, wetenschappelijk, carolina parkiet, de tolweg, voorn, de brasem, hoge plaats, zalm, de forel, heethoofd, hawfinch taxidermie, antieke taxidermie, taxidermist prijzen, taxidermie kosten, taxidermie tolweg, pottenbakkers museum, reproductie vogels eieren, taxidermie forums, taxidermie wetten, taxidermie verenigd koninkrijk zee adelaar, taxidermie - hokken reiger, vis taxidermie, vos masker, das masker, otter masker, vogel taxidermie, otter taxidermie, taxidermie gevallen, aquarel, taxidermie te koop, voorbeeld, staaltje, curiosum, gepekeld staaltjes, , , , , , , , , taxidermied , , , , , , hawfinch , , , , , , vingoe , () , , , , antrtida, artico, la seleccin natural, el juego que caza, el safari, la conservacin del juego, la conservacin, el conservacionista, conservacionistas, conservacin, embalado, encurtir, pasatiempo, pasatiempos, persecuciones, historia, histrico, creacin, artstico, artsticamente, trabajo de arte, sociedad, proteccin, multas, castigo, campo, cazado, trampas, guardas de juego, guas, hondonadas, escocs, aves acuticas aves salvajes vadear, waders, shorebirds, orilla de mar, paisaje, ros, lagos, charcas, arroyos, montaas, pramo, la silvicultura, alcanzan el mximo, los precipicios, las colonias, las colonias de grajos, criando el motivo, las castas, la especie, latn, natural history, natural selection, game hunting, game preservation, conservationists, cased, pickled, pursuits, historical, artistically, art work, fines, countryside, hunted, snares, game keepers, gullies, scottish, wildfowl, seaside, moorland, forestry, lochs, peaks, cliffs, colonies, rookeries, breeding grounds, lhistoire naturelle, antarctique, artique, la slection naturelle, le jeu chasse, le safari, la prservation de jeu, la conservation, le dfenseur des ressources naturelles, la prservation, monte, reconnue, conserve au vinaigre, passe-temps, poursuites, histoire, historique, muse, cration, artistique, artistiquement, travail dart, socit, amendes, punition, paysage, chass, piges, gardiens de jeu, ravins, cossaiss, oiseau sauvage avancer pniblement waders, bord de mer, rivires, lacs, tangs, ruisseaux, montagnes, lande, lexploitation des forts, culmine, les falaises, les colonies, les lieux de reproduction, les espces, lespce, naturkunde, antarktis, arktis, natrlich auswahl, spiel jagen, spiel bewahrung, erhaltung, naturschtzer, bewahrung, aufgestellt, eingelegt, hobbys, verfolgungen, geschichte, historisch, schpfung, knstlerisch knstlerisch kunst arbeit, gesellschaft, schutz, geldstrafen, strafe, landschaft, gejagt, fallen, schlingen, spiel wrter, fhrer, rinnen, schottisch, waten, meereskste, wlder, flsse, seen, teiche, bche, berge, heidemoor, forstwirtschaft, buchten, erreicht den hchsten punkt, klippen, kolonien, brutsttte, rassen, spezies, latein, la storia naturale antartide, la selezione artica, naturale, la ricerca di gioco, il safari, la preservazione di gioco, la conservazione, lambientalista, gli ambientalisti, la preservazione, montata, ha, ha in salamoia, carriere, storia, storica, creazione, artistica, artisticamente, lavoro di arte, societ, protezione, multe, punizione, campagna, cacciata, trappola, trappole, custodi di gioco, burroni, scozzesi, selvaggina di penna, foreste, paesaggio, fiumi, laghi, stagni, ruscelli, montagne, brughiera, limboschimento, loch, raggiunge un picco, le scogliere, le colonie, gli agglomerati di casupole, allevando dei suoli, le razze, la specie, histria natural, regies rticas, seleo natural, caada de jogo, preservao de jogo, conservao, ambientalista, ambientalistas, preservao, cased montado, passatempo, passatempos, buscas, histria, museu histrico, criao, trabalho de arte, a sociedade, proteo, campina, armadilhas caadas, apanha em a armadilha, guardas de jogo, guias, regos, waterfowl escocs, aves selvagens, caminhar com dificuldade, beira-mar, as florestas, paisagem, rios, tanques, crregos, montanhas, charneca, a terra da floresta, chega ao ponto mximo, despenhadeiros, colnias, colnias de corvos, criando chos, raas, espcie, latim, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , naturlig historie, nordpol, naturlig utvelging, spill jager, spillbevaring, bevaring, hobbyer, forflgelser, historie, historisk, skapelse, kunstnerisk, kunstarbeid, samfunn, beskyttelse, bter, straff, landskap, jaget, feller, spillvakter, hndbker, avlp, skotsk, vassing, skoger, elver, innsjer, damer, bekker, fjell, topper, klipper, kolonier, oppdrette grunner, raser

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

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: