The Specimens

Childhood Memories of Taxidermy: Arthur, the Siberian Brown Bear, Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey

Arthur, the Siberian Brown Bear, Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey, early 20th century

Childhood Memories of Taxidermy: Arthur, the Siberian Brown Bear, Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey   In the galleries there was a bear. But the bear wasn’t a real bear but the skin was a real bear’s skin but they stuffed the bear. The animals up on the wall they were dead then the men take the [...]

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The Collection of Oldrich Voříšek


There is a welcoming quietness as you step into the storeroom of the entomology section of the Natural History Museum in London. You instantly breathe in a familiar smell – old wooden drawers and preserving chemicals – and see endless rows of metal cabinets, punctuated by posters with brightly magnified metallic forms. Upstairs, there is [...]

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The Malm Whale, Natural History Museum Göteborg

§ 1 i A. W. Malm's last will & testament: The specimen must not be called anything but 'The Malm Whale' (the only stuffed blue whale in the world)

The discovery… On October 29th, 1865, a young blue whale beaches in the Askim bay outside Göteborg. Olof Larsson, a local fisherman, finds it and struggles for two days alongside his brother-in-law to kill ‘this horrible beast’. They sell it to August Malm, curator at the Göteborg Museum of Natural History. Malm sees the opportunity [...]

Submitted by: Kerstin Bengs | 1 Response

Blue Bird of Paradise

The specimen became wildly famous after it perched atop the head of Carrie Bradshaw during the wedding scenes of Sex and the City: The Movie, acting as her something blue.

I was in New York on the hunt for birds-of-paradise. While their natural habitat is over 9000 miles away in the rain forests of Papua New Guinea, I had it on good authority that I could find some particularly intriguing examples at famed Chelsea fashion emporium New York Vintage. NYV is, according to their website, [...]

Submitted by: Merle Patchett | Leave a comment

The Doorkeeper at the Wildgoose Memorial Library: The Cat with Ten Lives


The Cat was discovered many years ago by my friend, Andrew Sorrell, proprietor of Floral Hall Antiques in North London during one of his buying trips to the Paris Flea Market. When he phoned to say he had returned with something that might be of interest to me I headed straight round to his shop [...]

Submitted by: Jane Wildgoose | Leave a comment