Jan 29, 2015

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Role Of Taxidermy In Interior Design

The Role Of Taxidermy In Interior Design

The Victorian Era

The age of scientific enlightenment in the late eighteenth century made possible taxidermy’s rise in popularity during the Victorian Era. Victoria ascended to the British throne in 1837 at the age of eighteen. Her reign saw an age of industrial and empire expansion, along with great economic prosperity. That economic prosperity fueled an explosion in foreign travel. This new tourism and the public’s utter fascination with the natural world rivals the current day preoccupation with celebrities and high fashion. Victoria, herself, was captivated by science and exploration.

The souvenirs these first tourists brought home included hundreds of exotic animal and bird mounts. The mounts signified money and status, becoming an important part of interior design for the wealthy in Britain. Taxidermy became so popular that the practice moved beyond exotic animals and birds to local indigenous and even domestic species.

Anthropomorphic taxidermy, a practice in which the preserved animals were positioned as though they were human taking part in human activities, was an outgrowth of this movement. The most famous practitioner of this bizarre form of taxidermy was an Englishman, Walter Potter. Anthropomorphic taxidermy became so popular that Mr. Potter was able to create his own museum (Mr. Potter’s Museum of Curiosities) with his work. His final work ‘Kittens’ Wedding’ posed twenty preserved kittens, dressed in formal attire, as though at a wedding.

Trends In Interior Design

• For the hunter, wildlife mount have never gone out of style. New techniques allow for better and longer preservation.

• Existing taxidermy collections showing up in estates and auctions have been called one of the best values in the art world today. It is possible to purchase these one-of-a-kind pieces for a fraction of what they actually cost. The license fees, travel expenses, import and preservation costs to obtain these animal mounts typically run into many thousands of dollars.

• For many, taxidermy of real animals seems cruel or distasteful. Also, many of the animals and birds that would make coveted pieces are endangered and illegal to possess. Faux taxidermy solves these problems with beautifully sculpted replicas.

• Rogue taxidermy came on the scene a few decades ago. Some call it a rebirth of anthropomorphic taxidermy, but that is inaccurate. This practice goes beyond anthropomorphic taxidermy to create animals that do not exist…a rabbit with antlers, a monkey with wings or a creature that is half mountain lion and half eagle.

Animal furs, leathers, antlers and wildlife mounts lend a certain degree of warmth to any space. Whether you are restoring an existing mount, mounting your own hunting trophy or creating a replica, you can find all of your taxidermy supplies in PA from trusted sources.

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