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Indian and European Game Trophies from Kilberry Castle, Argyll

12th January 2022.

A Collection of Indian and European Game Trophies from Kilberry Castle, Argyll, will be sold at Tennants Auctioneers as part of their Natural History and Taxidermy Sale on 20th April 2022.

Kilberry Castle, a baronial tower house on the West Coast of Scotland, was home to a branch of Clan Campbell for over 450 years. Built in 1497, Kilberry has had a long and fascinating history, having been destroyed by an English pirate in 1513, besieged during the Civil War and almost destroyed by fire in the 18th century before being rebuilt in 1844 by John Campbell.

Following the sale of the Castle earlier this year, the family collection of Indian and European Game Trophies will be sold at Tennants. Many of the trophies date from the second half of the 19th century, with rare and historical specimens including Asian Water Buffalos, Astor Markhors, Bengal Tigers, Indian Leopards and Himalayan Tahr.

A fascinating family game book from the late 19th century was loaned to Tennants by the vendors to help research the collection. The book was annotated by a later descendant, who at one point writes in reference to rhinoceros’ skulls ‘I had these skulls removed and buried, and also that of a tiger (alleged maneater) [P27] in the 1950s. Someone will dig them up someday and have several fits’.

Highlights of the collection include a Bengal Tiger Skin Rug, circa 1896 by Rowland Ward (estimate: £3,000-5,000 plus buyer’s premium). According to the family game book the tiger skins in the house were mounted on battens before being hung on the walls, so they could be easily removed for cleaning. One of the tiger skins was taken by Sir Edward Durand. Further highlights include the skull and antlers of an Assam Water Buffalo, taken in Northern India circa 1852, thought to have been shot by Major Robert Campbell (estimate: £1,000-1,500), and a Scottish Highland Cow dated 1908 thought to have been mounted by Rowland Ward (estimate: £700-900). Inscribed on a brass plaque is the legend ‘Baravalla 932, Born February 1885, Died 08th November 1908).

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.

View Sale 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.

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