Victorian taxidermy case of four New Zealand birds by Rowland Ward of Piccadilly, £7000 at Windsor Auctions.

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The subject matter is sadly very scarce. Alongside the tui, a northern brown kiwi and the kea, this mount includes a kakapo, the large flightless ground-dwelling parrot first described by the English ornithologist George Robert Gray in 1845.

Conservation efforts to save the Kakapo began as early as the 1890s but today it remains critically endangered with a total known adult population of around 200.

Alongside the trophies of big game hunting, cases of birds from the various dominions of the British empire were part of Ward’s stock in trade in the late 19th century.

Museum collections

Similar cases of New Zealand ornithology reside in a number of museums and public collections – including large examples by Ward at the Horniman Museum in London’s Forest Hill and at Clandon Park, Surrey.

Back in 2015 at Tennants, a similar case of New Zealand rare birds that bore the label for George Sim (fl. c.1862-1909) of King Street, Aberdeen, sold at £10,500.

The sale at Windsor Auctions took place on August 22.