Natural History & Taxidermy

Friday 2 March, 10.30am

The spring Natural History & Taxidermy Sale includes period and modern taxidermy by some of the leading names in the discipline, including pieces by Victorian master Rowland Ward and nine specimens by internationally renowned taxidermists Van Ingen & Van Ingen.

Established by Eugene Van Ingen in the 1890s in Mysore, South India, Van Ingen & Van Ingen were known throughout the world for their magnificent, naturalistic tiger, leopard, lion and big game trophy mounts, which are still greatly sought after by collectors today. Famed for their high quality workmanship, naturalistic poses and trademark open-mouthed or snarling features, Van Ingen worked for the Maharajas of India, aristocratic European hunters and nobility from around the globe. Of particular note is a c.1935 Leopard shoulder mount, which features the maker’s trademark open mouth and company stamp to the reverse of the shield. The leopard was shot by Lieutenant GBF Muir Esq. ICS Commissioner in the Fyzabad U.P. (estimate £800-1,200 plus 24% buyer’s premium).

Also included in this sale is a collection of fine modern taxidermy by David L Keningale of Warwickshire. Keningale is a master taxidermist, producing very high quality cased specimens in the traditional Victorian style. The present collection comprises British Wildfowl specimens with naturalistic backdrops housed in wooden cases, such as a cased Mandarin Duck, c.1991, set amongst grasses and fauna (estimate: £250-350 plus buyer’s premium).

In addition, there are specimens by other well regarded taxidermists such as Peter Spicer, E.F. Spicer, Henry Shaw and a tiger skin rug with head mount (c.1902-1915) by James Lippitt Clark. Clark trained under the father of modern taxidermy Carl Akeley after joining the American Museum on Natural History, New York in 1902; together they prepared many specimens for Theodore Roosevelt. Other specimens in the sale with provenance include a number of head and shoulder mounts that were once in the John Willet Deer and Trophy Head Collection - the result of 50 years of dedicated collecting, which was sold at Tennants in 2008.

However, perhaps the most eye-catching lot in the sale is a full mount Southern Cassowary c.1900, a large flightless bird found in Indonesia, New Guinea and Eastern Australia. Related to the ostrich and the emu, the cassowary stands at over 130cm high and has fearsome talons on its feet; when provoked the cassowary’s kick has been known to kill men (estimate: £800-1,200 plus buyer’s premium).

Viewing: Thursday 1 March 10am-5pm and morning of sale.
Online catalogue will be available closer to sale date

Entries are now invited for forthcoming Natural History & Taxidermy Sales.

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.

Live bidding for the sale will be available at:

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