Taxidermy is IN!

I know it’s not everyone’s taste, but taxidermy seems to be seeing a firm return to fashion. Although I’ve been a long-time fan, I first covered this area professionally in the DK Collectables Price Guide 2007, published in 2006. Since then, the small seed of a trend has turned into something much more. Even to the point of the illustrious newspaper The Evening Standard publishing a long article on the subject. Their focus was the innovative and unique work of artist Polly Morgan, who uses stuffed animals in unusual and striking situations and poses quite unlike those found in dusty old Victorian museums.
But it’s not just Morgan’s work (which can sell for over £3,000!) that has seen a style revolution – those dusty old Victorian and Edwardian animals have also risen in price. If they’re humorously posed, like the clever squirrel above, so much the better. You see, it’s the quirky, eccentric nature of these beasts that appeals – they add a truly individual look to a room. If they’re well stuffed, true to life and perhaps by a good maker such as Spicer or Roland Ward, prices rise again. Certain breeds of animal or bird can also be rare, which increases the price amongst knowledgeable collectors.
On that note, by no means am I promoting the killing and stuffing of animals today, particularly endangered species. I love nature too much, and there’s plenty of choice out there in salerooms, junk shops and antiques fairs around the world. They’ve been dead for a while now and it seems a shame not to display them, and wrong to destroy them. Values range from around £30-300, but can be as low as £10 for a more common beast. Only yesterday, I found a rather cute looking badger for £40, who is now positioned emerging from behind my sofa!

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