Natural History & Taxidermy

Friday 6 July, 10.30am

Viewing: Thursday 5 July 10am-5pm and morning of sale
Buyer's Commission: 20% + VAT (24% in total)
Location: The Auction Centre, Leyburn DL8 5SG

To include three rare and impressive large cased dioramas of African birds (c.1865-1880), prepared by Ashmead & Co. of London and destined for the British Raj, which are set to be one of the highlights of the Natural History and Taxidermy on 6th July.

The cases contain examples of African birds that are rarely seen at auction, such as the large Secretarybirds, a Blue Crane, a Jackal Buzzard and Juvenile Black Storks. All three cases contain a paper trade label reading: ‘Prize Medal 1862, Ashmead & Co, Naturalists, 35, Bishopsgate, Without’.

George Ashmead, later Ashmead & Co were a family dynasty of taxidermists, working in London from c.1830 to at least the 1920s. Founded by George Ashmead, the company was known to have operated from premises on Duke Street, Mayfair from 1830. The business subsequently was passed down the generations, and from c.1865-1879 was located at 35 Bishopsgate, possibly under the control of Argent Ashmead, George’s grandson. In 1879 the business moved to Moorgate, but in 1923 had once more relocated to Bishopsgate, this time number 180.

The company was known in particular for their preparation of exotic birds, such as the present cases which contain birds endemic to Africa. By repute, they were commissioned by a wealthy British family who resided in Mysore, capital of the Kingdom of Mysore in Southern India. They were brought back to the UK when British rule started to wain around 1947, and they were housed in Norfolk until approximately 15 years ago when they were moved into storage, until they were purchased by the current vendor.

For further information about the cases, or to enquire about buying and selling Natural History and Taxidermy at auction, please contact or 01969 623780.

Further entries are invited

Live bidding at

  • Buying & Selling
    Buying & Selling
    Buying & Selling at Tennants Auctioneers - find out all you need to know by clicking below
    Read more
  • Beyond The Rostrum
    Beyond The Rostrum
    The latest Spring/Summer issue of Tennants Newsletter is now available to view online
    Read more
  • Valuations
    For more information on our valuation services click below
    Read more
  • The Garden Rooms at Tennants
    The Garden Rooms at Tennants
    Click for more information on the newly opened events & exhibition centre
    Read more
  • The Blog
    The Blog
    The blog at Tennants Auctioneers
    Read more