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Taxidermy

With a history rich in methodologies and cultural trends, taxidermy is somewhere between an art form and science. Nearly an abandoned enterprise in the late 20th century, taxidermy is making a comeback with a new generation of taxidermists eager to preserve the natural world.

Embalmed animals have been long been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. Taxidermy itself, however, has only existed since the Middles Ages. In the 1700s, methods were somewhat crude, with clay and cotton-wrapped wire used as stuffing under cured animal skins. During this time, Jean Baptist Becoeur developed arsenical soap to preserve skins and keep insects from destroying specimens. His methods were widely used across the next century and proved highly effective in preserving specimens. By the Victorian Era, animal mounts became popular as interior décor. Owning them not only displayed wealth but also cultural diversity and adventurism. In the late 1800s, taxidermy was so important that many U.S. and English towns had a taxidermist, just like they had barbers, butchers, and merchants.

Although the golden age of taxidermy ended around World War I, it remains important to those wanting their hunting and fishing successes put on permanent display. It’s also important for restoring museum displays and extracting DNA from specimens.


Quick Facts

  • The decline of taxidermy in the 20th century is attributed partly to the rise in photography and animal guide book availability as well as government-mandated wildlife preservation acts
  • Anthromorphic taxidermy is the practice of preserving animals and displaying them in a scene with human-like poses. Maxwell Potter is famous for this style of taxidermy
  • The oldest mount in history was supposedly a 16th century rhinoceros at the Royal Museum of Vertebrates in Florence, Italy. No evidence of the rhino exists today, and some dispel its existence as a myth

Recommended Items at Auction

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Taxidermy Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Taxidermy Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
Vintage Mounted Horns
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Mounted Horns
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
Taxidermy Piranha, Fossils, Mating Pigs
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Taxidermy Piranha, Fossils, Mating Pigs
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
A SMALL LATE 19TH CENTURY TAXIDERMY RHINO FOOT
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
A SMALL LATE 19TH CENTURY TAXIDERMY RHINO FOOT
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £150- £250
£752 Bids
Taxidermy Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Taxidermy Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
Early Victorian Bird Taxidermy Painted Landscape Showcase
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Early Victorian Bird Taxidermy Painted Landscape Showcase
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$552 Bids
SILVER FOX TAIL TAXIDERMY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Feb 06, 1:00 PM CST
SILVER FOX TAIL TAXIDERMY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1001 Bid
TAXIDERMY DEATH’S HEAD HAWK MOTH IN FLIGHT WITH GENUINE HUMAN RIB BONE UNDER GLASS DOME
Dec 08, 2:00 PM GMT
TAXIDERMY DEATH’S HEAD HAWK MOTH IN FLIGHT WITH GENUINE HUMAN RIB BONE UNDER GLASS DOME
by Curated Auctions
Est: £80- £120
£801 Bid
TAXIDERMY: A DUNNOCK (PRUNELLA MODULARIS) IN GLASS DOME
Dec 08, 2:00 PM GMT
TAXIDERMY: A DUNNOCK (PRUNELLA MODULARIS) IN GLASS DOME
by Curated Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£601 Bid
Unusual Taxidermy Zebra-Hide-Upholstered Cocktail Table
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CST
Unusual Taxidermy Zebra-Hide-Upholstered Cocktail Table
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$9001 Bid
taxidermy : four antlers…
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
taxidermy : four antlers…
by DVC
Est: €0- €0
€101 Bid
Taxidermy Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Taxidermy Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Taxidermy 3- Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Taxidermy 3- Deer Antlers w/ Skull Cap On Plaque
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Waterbuck, Mbarara, 1909 Antler Mount
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CST
Waterbuck, Mbarara, 1909 Antler Mount
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Large Mounted Elk Rack
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CST
Large Mounted Elk Rack
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
TAXIDERMY: LEOPARD HEAD
Dec 06, 10:00 AM GMT
TAXIDERMY: LEOPARD HEAD
by Sheppards
Est: €250- €350
€1501 Bid
A taxidermy specimen of a preserved Green woodpecker (Picus viridis) in a w
Dec 03, 10:00 AM GMT
A taxidermy specimen of a preserved Green woodpecker (Picus viridis) in a w
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £20- £30
£201 Bid
FROG TAXIDERMY
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
FROG TAXIDERMY
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
TOAD TAXIDERMY
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
TOAD TAXIDERMY
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
FROG TAXIDERMY DUTTAPHRYNUS MELANOSTICTUS
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
HORN TAXIDERMY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
HORN TAXIDERMY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Taxidermy


Curated Auctions

Curated Auctions

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Sheppards

Sheppards

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal