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Natural History & Taxidermy Sale Preview

8th January 2020.

Over 300 lots of high-quality taxidermy, including cased and wall hanging mounts by the likes of Rowland Ward, Peter Spicer and Van Ingen and Van Ingen are to be sold in the Natural History and Taxidermy Sale on 31st January.

Predominantly consigned from Private UK and European Collections, highlights of the sale include a superb collection of cases and preserved fish by W.F. Homer, John Cooper and Sons, and William Griggs, a renowned fish specialist who worked for John Cooper. A Cased Common Bream by Griggs for John Cooper is one of the prime examples, offered with an estimate of £600-800 plus buyer’s premium. Well mounted in a naturalistic setting amidst reeds, the fish was caught at Cheshunt by C. Johnson on 30th June 1943. Griggs took over the running of John Cooper circa 1933 and traded under the name until he died in 1953; he was regarded as one of the master exponents of preserving fish and his skills can be seen clearly in this case. From the same collection comes a selection of mounted fox and badger cases by James Hutchings of Aberystwyth, North Wales.

Also of note is an interesting and important Private Collection of Austro-German and European antler furniture, which includes impressive armchairs, chandeliers, chambersticks and wall mounts. Estimated at £1,500-2,500 plus buyer’s premium, an Austro-German antler armchair made circa 1870-1900 composed of fallow and red deer antlers is particularly impressive. Always sought-after by designers is an example of an Austro-German red and fallow deer antler corona chandelier (estimate: £650-750 plus buyer’s premium).

The sale will also include a comprehensive selection of high-quality cased animals and birds by Northern master taxidermist A.J. Armitstead of Darlington, Co. Durham, such as a very rare albino grey squirrel. The full mount adult sits in a naturalistic wall case and is estimated at £450-550 plus buyer’s premium).

Further good lots to watch include a fine and rare example of a long-wattled umbrellabird (estimate: £2,500-3,500 plus buyer’s premium), a large full mount European Wild Boar from circa 1897 (estimate: £1,200-1,800 plus buyer’s premium) and a circa 19th century Gothic Revival oak framed firescreen diorama of tropical birds (estimate: £1,200-1,800 plus buyer’s premium).

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