A very rare pair of Early 20th Century Indian Tiger Cub Head Mounts by Van Ingen and Van Ingen or Mysore, India sold for £12,000 in the Natural History and Taxidermy Sale on 23rd July. Dated 1931, the pair were taken in Nargund, South West India.
An Early 20th Century Duck Billed Platypus Patchwork Carriage Rug sold for £3,800. It was purchased by the vendor’s family nearly 100 years ago and was part of the contents included in the sale of Woodcliffe House near Leeds which became the family’s principal home. The property had been in the possession of an elderly gentleman for many years, and it is likely that the rug had been in the property for many years. Having been in storage for many years, it was in excellent condition, and investigations by curators at the British Museum suggest that it was one of only two or three such examples known – one of which is in their collection. It had never previously been offered on the open market.
Also selling with good family provenance were a Pair of Late 19th Century Walrus Tusks, which had descended in the family of Captain James Fairweather, a ship’s captain in the Dundee Whaling Fleet and sold for £2,200. Fairweather voyaged to the Arctic and north-eastern Canada and Newfoundland yearly until 1889 when he joined the Mercantile Marine. In 1916 he was commissioned by the British Government to captain the Discovery, a scientific research vessel for the Shackleton Relief Expedition to the Antarctic; however, the crew only reached Montevideo, Uruguay when they heard that Shackleton had been rescued by another ship.
Further highlights of the sale included an African Leopard Skin Rug dated May 1964 by Rowland Ward Ltd, which sold for £3,500, and a 19th Century Anthropomorphic Mice Diorama titled ‘The Band of Hope’, which sold for £3,500.