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.


‘Clarissa’ the record breaking carp

Famous 44lb carp dubbed ‘Clarissa’ emerges for sale

13 June 2024

For collectors of cased fish, it doesn’t come much better than this.

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London’s ‘curious gardens’ inspired German botanist

20 May 2024

Published between 1750-73, Plantae selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini in hortis curiosorum (‘A selection of plants from natural specimens nurtured in London’s curious gardens’) is considered the most important botanical work ever printed in Germany.

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Seven up for complete set of famous Sowerby work

20 May 2024

The Science, Medicine & Early Technology auction at Flints (25% buyer’s premium) in Thatcham, Berkshire on May 1 was led by a complete seven-volume set of The Mineral Conchology of Great Britain by James Sowerby (1757-1822).

2631DD Skull 1

Triceratops skull installed at Harrods by London dealership David Aaron

13 February 2024

David Aaron, the Mayfair antiquities specialist, is offering a major natural history specimen at Harrods.

Berkeley Square T Rex (5)

Sculpture of a juvenile T-rex skeleton goes on show in Berkeley Square

14 December 2023

A bronze statue created through 3D scanning the skeleton of a juvenile T-rex has been installed in London by antiquities specialist David Aaron.

Elephant bird egg

Unbroken elephant bird egg is all it’s cracked up to be

30 October 2023

The eggs of the extinct Aepyornis maximus or elephant bird are the largest of any known species.

New Zealand huia birds in a case

New Zealand birds soar to a new taxidermy high

18 September 2023

A Victorian cased pair of the extinct New Zealand huia sold for £220,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) in Tennants’ Natural History and Taxidermy sale.

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Natural history collecting? It rocks

21 August 2023

Over the past decade the buyer profile has widened as fossils and minerals become decorative objects

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5 Questions with Carolina Valdés Vignoli

24 July 2023

Carolina Valdés Vignoli of Carol Tresor concentrates on collectors’ pieces of mineralogical interest and shipwreck pottery. She is preparing an exhibition of minerals in September at the LAPADA fair in Mayfair.

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Mineral cabinet chips in

15 May 2023

This mahogany 12-drawer cabinet of minerals, rocks and fossils carries the printed trade label reading Arranged and Sold by J Tennant, Mineralogist by Appointment to Her Majesty, 149 Strand London.

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Puppy called Fairy was small stuff but a big result nevertheless

27 March 2023

Many animals stuffed by taxidermists stand out as fiercesome beasts that could easily have turned on the hunters themselves.

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Butterflies send collectors all of a flutter

12 December 2022

A very fine Victorian butterfly collection formed between c.1880-1920 was offered by Minster Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in Leominster on November 24.

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Dinosaur on the road to the rostrum

10 October 2022

Giquello et Associés is selling this fossilised skeleton of Zephyr from the Iduanodon family of dinosaurs which is more than 150 million years old.

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Get your teeth into T-Rex

05 September 2022

Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr is holding a sale in Paris on September 21 of a cabinet of curiosities given over to natural history, entomology and minerals.

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Taxidermy and lots of other stuff

18 July 2022

Couple move upstairs in their 17th century Cotswolds townhouse to open an antiques shop below

Gorgosaurus skeleton

First ever complete Gorgosaurus dinosaur skeleton comes to auction in New York

14 July 2022

The first ever complete Gorgosaurus skeleton is to be offered at auction by Sotheby’s.

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Yes!! I’ve just bid £3500 on a load of old bones…

04 July 2022

Captured on video camera and shared by the auction house on Twitter, this was the fistpumping moment of joy when historian Tom Holland bought a Psittacosaurus skeleton at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on June 30.

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See the one that got away on sale day at a weighty £17,000

27 June 2022

This impressive carved and painted wooden half-block model of a salmon measures an impressive 4ft 10in (1.48m) across.

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Flying visit to New Guinea

02 May 2022

This Victorian cased diorama of birds of paradise native to New Guinea sold for £18,000 to lead Tennants’ (22% buyer’s premium) Natural History and Taxidermy sale in Leyburn on April 20.

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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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