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The Bruce Housden Collection of Taxidermy

22nd March 2019.

A remarkable collection of Taxidermy comes to auction in 2019, collected over the span of 45 years by the late Bruce Housden of Cambridgeshire. A collector of extraordinary dedication, Mr Housden amassed over 500 specimens of cased taxidermy and natural history curiosities made by some of the leading names in Victorian taxidermy. The collection will be sold over the course of three sales at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire – with Part I being sold on 14th June.

Mr Housden, a bricklayer by trade, would spend every weekend hunting fairs, auctions and antiques shops for the best examples he could find. Highlights from the collection include an extraordinary Victorian Fire Screen Diorama of Hunting Birds and Fish, made circa 1865-1880 by Ashmead & Co of London. In this highly realistic scene, a hobby chases a swallow, a dragonfly preys on a fly and a pike preys on a fish (Estimate: £2,000-3,000 plus buyer’s premium). Other superb lots include a very rare Late Victorian cased pair of Goshawks and Rough-legged Buzzard, 1835-1912, by James Birch Waters, (from London), Naturalist, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire (Estimate: £1,800-2,800 plus buyer’s premium).

In addition to fine specimens by the likes of Rowland Ward, John Cooper & Sons and Henry Spicer, the collection also includes the weird and wonderful – from 8ft otter poles to a seal’s flipper with metal claw caps and elaborate Victorian mousetraps.

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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