Friday 3 February, 10:30am
The Hart/Hall Collection of Taxidermy
Coming up for auction on 3 February are four ornithological cases, of rare form and extremely fine quality, which were once part of an important collection of avian taxidermy. The collection was started by Edward Hart, an eminent Victorian naturalist and proprietor of taxidermists William Hart & Son of Chichester. Hart built a large collection of mounted birds, which he initially exhibited in his own small museum. By 1903, Hart sought an established museum to purchase the collection in order to maintain and exhibit it in perpetuity; however, no buyers came forward.
In 1924, the collection was sold to John Hall, an industrialist and keen ornithologist who displayed it in a purpose built gallery in his home, Broughton Hall in Staffordshire. Hall purchased extra skins from Edward Hart, which he had prepared and mounted in the late 1920s by Rowland Ward Ltd of Piccadilly into thirty-two cases.
When John Hall died in 1930, the Hall/Hart collection was again offered to museums with no success. Hall’s heirs eventually gave the collection to Stowe School in 1942, in order to preserve the collection as a whole. However, it was beyond the resources of the school to adequately care for and display the collection and, with the exception of a few items displayed in a local museum, it was put into storage.
In March 1982, the Governors of Stowe decided to offer the thirty-two cases Hall had commissioned from Rowland Ward Ltd for public auction at Christie’s. The present lots were purchased from this sale.
The rest of the Hart Collection was purchased in the early 1980s by the Horniman Museum, Leicester Museum & Hampshire County Council Museum Services.
Further entries for the Natural History and Taxidermy are invited.
The sale of Specimens and Material derived from Endangered Species
All auction entries at Tennants are sold strictly in accordance with CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) regulations, and any necessary licences or Pre-sale approvals are obtained from Animal Health, Bristol.