An Accident on the Hunting Field Preserved for Posterity

Over a hundred years ago, an accident on the hunting field was immortalised, when the Master of the Cleveland Hunt had stuffed a terrier which had been killed by his horse.

Squire William Wharton of the Skelton Castle Estate in Cleveland was Master of the Cleveland Hunt; and whilst out hunting one day c.1900, his horse accidentally killed a fox terrier that belonged to one of his tenant farmers, Henry Allison (d.1917). Such was the Squire’s remorse that he commissioned Peter Spicer, a master taxidermist from Leamington Spa to immortalise the little dog in a diorama as a gift for Allison to remember his dog by. 

Having been passed down through the family of Henry Allison, this impressive taxidermy case is now up for sale at Tennants Auctioneers of Leyburn, North Yorkshire on 20th September as part of their Natural History and Taxidermy Sale. Peter Spicer is regarded as one of the greatest British taxidermists, and his highly realistic cases are much sought after today. The case is being sold with an estimate of £2,000-3,000 (plus 22.2% buyer’s premium).

Tennant’s sale comprises over 170 lots of good taxidermy and natural history, highlights of which include: a Pleistocene Era Woolly Mammoth Tusk (estimate: £350-500 plus 22.2% buyer’s premium); a fossilised Sauropod Dinosaur Egg (estimate: £350-450 plus 22.2% buyer’s premium); a 1930s Giant Clam Half Shell (estimate: £250-350 plus 22.2% buyer’s premium); and a large and impressive Red Deer Shoulder Mount, with 21 point antlers measuring almost 120cm across (estimate: £700-900 plus22.2% buyer’s premium).

A fully illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available on our website,, leading up to the sale, alternatively, please contact the salerooms for further details.

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.

A Rare Diorama Cased Fox Terrier and Fox, by Peter Spicer, circa 1900 (Estimate: £2,000-3,000)