Taxidermy is very divisive. You either love it and spend hours searching for it in auctions and on ebay (me) or you think it is weird and creepy to have dead stuff in your house (most people). Obviously, I love it. I love the really traditional beautiful regal mounted heads (just like Charles, see my facebook page for a formal introduction) and get a massive laugh from the double headed ducks and the frogs with walking sticks and top hats.
Taxidermy, became bang on trend a few years ago and every stylist going around tacked up a stag head or a set of horns in all the interiors they photographed. For the fabulous mounts, it was brilliant, they got dragged from sheds and man caves, had their pelts hoovered (NEVER do this) and their eyes made sparkly with Spray and Wipe. They were everywhere and the prices went through the roof, but then through being massively overused they became unfashionable as they are their cardboard counterparts flooded the market.
This spate of popularity and their more recent falling out of favour, means that having not been in auctions for years, or being there but being hugely overpriced, they are starting to appear again and I couldn’t be happier. Because taxidermy shouldn’t be about fashion. Owning a piece of taxidermy is about a genuine love and appreciation for animals and the natural world and a desire to have a reminder of that in your home. Charles, our stag, I chose for his kind face and proud, masculine presence. He looks over our sitting room and is truly part of the family (and a super low cost pet) but I won’t try and explain it further because it does just sound weird.
So I encourage you to look, if not for a full piece of taxidermy, but perhaps for beautiful emu or robin’s eggs, nautilus shells, antlers, skulls and sun bleached bones. These are great decorator pieces and as long as you steer away from the animals preserved in jars of formaldehyde, I promise people won’t think you’re too loko.
And finally, all these pieces are great conversation starters. What better way to break the ice than to recount the time you had a stand off with the irate feral buffalo in the NT bush? Or I suppose you could just say you bought it, but where’s the fun in that?