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Main | Flaubert's Parrot »
Wednesday
Dec262007

Vintage Taxidermy

Polly_stuffed_parrotAs I write this, a parrot has just come up for sale. An African grey parrot, to be precise, in a peach-hued box accented with a few feathery grasses. Perched on a sturdy bit of wood, he seems quite chipper, ogling the world with a sharp yellow eye, as if about bob up and down as excited parrots do. But of course he won’t. Polly died in the winter of 1947. Dead but still loved. His inscription reads, “"Our Dearest Polly, we who loved you dear will never forget you. January 26th, 1946."

But poor Polly, half a century later he was forgotten. Beside the trade label on his box making known that Polly was stuffed by the famous English taxidermy firm of Edward Gerrard & Sons, Polly is a parrot of unknown origins. Dead, forgotten, and for sale by Top Hat Taxidermy for £247.99 plus postage and handling. Several Victorian spaniels are for sale as well including a brown and white puppy, if that is more to your liking.

For vintage taxidermy enthusiasts check out Top Hat Taxidermy, an online mail-order company specialising in Victorian taxidermy although they have lots of new creatures as well. On the vintage front, besides the standard fare of British birds and badgers, you'll find a wonderful selection masks (a traditional name for small animal heads on plaques) pets, glass domes and cases, and trout and bream in dome fronted cases.

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