We went to a new antiques store in Mittagong, NSW and the store was full of very very expensive (and very very old) taxidermied beasts: birds, squirrels, bears, tigers, crocodiles. Some boasting from zoos in the UK from decades past.
I walked away less than impressed with them. It was truly in your face. Sure, they’re life sized, sure, they’re as real as it gets, but somehow (and sadly, even) I like my animals alive – and in a tiger’s case, roaming free.
But it got me thinking about taxidermy.
What is your take on taxidermy?
Funky good or funky bad?
Myself, I have always found taxidermy art disturbing… The aim, after all, is to stuff only what is rare and beautiful. Hence, making it more rare, instead of pumping the available cash into conservation and replenishing the numbers on earth. I mean, it would make sense selecting animals that are a pest and abound too muchly. But how many of us dearly want a stuffed mosquito or cane toad or cockroach or rat?
I have tended to walk quickly away from anything stuffed.
I’m not sure what’s changed.
I am starting to like the idea of a beautiful but remote stuffed bird in the home.
Maybe it was seeing this stuffed pheasant in Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse‘s beautiful, warm and fresh dining room.
Maybe it was because you *couldn’t* see it up close. It wasn’t eye level.
Since then, stuffed feathered lovelies have been lurking in the depths of my mind.
But maybe a different large beautiful bird: a peacock.
(I’m working my way to having a pair as pets too, one day!)
Now and then, a stuffed coloured or white peacock will pop up on eBay Australia for a couple of thousand dollars.
And yet, the question begs…
To Taxidermy or not to taxidermy?
Let’s be inspired!
Btw, have you seen how spectacular a white peacock is??
And in these rooms they shine!
What is your take?