- Susan Elaine Jones
Bleached blondes of the savannah
I enjoyed a smashing visit to Norwich Castle Museum a couple of weekends ago. I spent much of my time in the Natural History Gallery. As well as meeting a lovely chap sat sketching the albatross (and discussing Doncaster, "a lovely place for a meat raffle"), I had time to appreciate the plethora of taxidermy. A number of them were still in marvellous condition, if a little paler than they may have started life.
The animals are beautifully presented, in a wide array of displays. From top left are lions, bottom left a tiger. Top right, from the curator's office case, are a lyger and tion cub (half breeds of tigers and lions), and bottom right is the "travelling zoo", including a quite blonde lion cub, ocelot, kangaroo and neat the bottom, the leopard (standing over the remarkably pale raccoon).
The leopard looks somewhat incredulous at being in the case. To be fair when I first saw it, I had to consult the key on the right, and then check again.
Incredulous leopard face.
Almost good enough to add to crap taxidermy. But I commend the museum for keeping it on display, as well as the bleached blondes, because they are authentic to the time and decay inevitable even with the best efforts of the time at preservation.
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