If you’re interested in taxidermy animals for sale either locally or online, it’s a good idea to learn about the subject. The ‘art’ of preserving mammals, reptiles, and amphibians has been practiced throughout human history, and there have always been good and bad examples of it. You won’t want to spend good money on something that will disappoint, so know what to ask, look for, and expect before you begin.
Archaeologists have found preserved animals in the tombs of royal mummies, but they were embalmed. Taxidermists don’t try to save the entire animal, and the process is entirely different. True taxidermy arose as explorers pushed into unknown lands, encountering exotic animals on land and in the sea. How-to guides to mounting specimens began to appear during the eighteenth century.
Using the skin and bones only, the taxidermist either tries to present the subject in a lifelike manner or departs from reality entirely by ending up with a creature from mythology or fantasy. During the Victorian age, people flocked to see exhibitions of animals like the platypus, as impossible-looking as any dragon or unicorn. Because hoaxes were common, many didn’t know what to believe. Homeowners began to decorate with trophy heads and even ‘saved’ beloved pets.
Although early attempts to present animals were lifeless and stiff, improved materials and techniques soon brought this scientific tool into an art form. Skins were stretched over carefully-sculpted forms made of wire padded with wool. Padded wire is still used, as well as polyurethane foam. Visitors to natural history or roadside museums know how convincing displays of snarling cougars, coiled snakes, or alert deer can be. Glass eyes, artificial legs and noses, and other replica body parts help create the appearance of life.
Fish are often assumed to be the real thing when displayed on a wall, However, the skin of a fish is very fragile, so what you see is often a precise replica done in resin or fiberglass. The spectacular catch itself was probably released or served up for dinner.
To do the job well requires skill, painstaking attention to detail, and the right tools and materials. It’s helpful to inspect the actual object before buying. Look carefully at the places where flaws often show, like the eyes, ears, and nose. If selecting from photographs(which can be deceiving), it’s important to check customer reviews and contact them if possible. Ask for a satisfaction guarantee, and know the process that would be involved to get your investment back if paying online.
There are many attractive sites online, with vivid photographs of red foxes, black bears, bobcats, and more. Even though you won’t be buying based on photos alone, the galleries are fun to visit to see what’s available. You might be picturing a wild animal in a hunting pose but find that you prefer one at rest or play.
The popularity of man caves opens up new venues for finding taxidermy animals for sale. A majestic black bear or vivid red fox can welcome guests with more impact than the usual beer sign. Fantastic creatures like the western Jackalope or the famous mermaid (actually a monkey and fish combo) show the range of possibilities.
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