Victorian Taxidermy Information

Victorian Antique Taxidermy by James Hutchings of Aberystwyth. One of the best regional British Historical taxidermists

We have far too many images from this regional taxidermist to be limited to one page so we have divided the page to make navigation and appreciation of the images easier. We, as the largest resource dedicated to historical victorian taxidermy hope you enjoy them. It does however get a little tiedious creating the trends that others poorly follow.
We are interested in Purchasing Victorian Taxidermy, please respond via this on-line form of what you have for sale. HERE

Hutchings Family

It would appear that James Hutchings began working as a taxidermist in Aberystwyth in the 1860s. His sons, James (Fred), George and Walter and daughter (Poppy), followed him in the taxidermy trade and the firm continued until 1942. The company was one of the most prolific taxidermist firms in Britain and their work is considered to be of a very high standard. This family was perhaps best regarded as one of the best and most prolific provincial taxidermists.

A glimpse of the a victorian workshop and perhaps the most prolific regional taxidermy families. The fox on the work bench appears to have a woodcock at its feet. The fox is having a leg stitched and a deers head hangs in the background.

James Hutchings with Spaniel, shotgun and dead game, no doubt going to form another mixed case.

Well-presented cases and very fine taxidermy were their stock in trade. They specialized mainly in birds producing some spectacular and large examples of sea bird taxidermy, mostly shot locally to order for customers. Foxes and badgers were also produced almost on an industrial scale.
Many examples of cased foxes with prey exist; perhaps the only differentiators is the prey at the feet of the fox. Fish do exist but are very rare indeed, as are the more common species of birds like wood pigeons and woodland birds.
Old bill dated August 22nd 1914 for stuffing and mounting a Rabbit in a case. The bill is written in the "hand" of James Hutchings.

Hutchings prices have steadily increased over the years as more and more people recognize the quality of the taxidermy. The supply of such cases appears to be however never ending, so this should "cool" the taxidermy market for certain items such as foxes and badgers. Birds however are more likely to remain in high demand.

Hutchings later cases are quite distinctive, with square feet, rounded corners and gilded bars over black tape. The backs are painted to represent a sky ranging in colour from blue to yellow or pink.

The Hutchings family at rest.

Old bill dated 1886 for a Swan. The same Swan today would be 1500 times more expensive.

Early example of a James Hutchings Trade Label, only placed on the inside of Hutchings cases that they felt were worthy of the name. Also placed in such a manner as not to detract from the subject matter. This label is hidden on the front internal support and hardly noticable.

Interesting observation with reference to the James Hutchings cases and their trade labels. The mention of pride and scarcity have be attributed to why some minor cases were labeled and yet others perhaps of better quality were not. We can hopefully shed some light upon this and dispel the myths around the labeling of cases. From our direct discussions with surviving relatives of the Hutchings family who remember the later years of the firms activities. The answer in somewhat more straight forward. James Hutching's was too poor to afford anymore labels and so ceased incorporating them into cases. Hence some have them and some do not. Taxidermist, with the exception of a few, were generally working class people. From our review of perhaps one of the largest Hutchings collection in the UK reveal virtually all of the cases are without labels and yet contain very rare items. James Hutchings’ invoices described him as a Taxidermist and Gun Smith, and he advertised for the skins of stoats, polecats, foxes, badgers and otters for making stoles.

Another old picture of the Hutchings family, presumably either their place of work or family home. James has the dog on his lap

Red/White Irish Setter flushing an English Partridge by James Hutchings.

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Decorative case of a Red Grouse by James Hutchings.

Heron and Moorhens by James Hutchings.

Attractive and impressive case by James Hutchings. This case is for sale from a private seller. If interested we would gladly place you in touch with them. Sorry no dealers only private collectors.

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Very decorative case Shelduck by James Hutchings.

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Brent Goose and Arctic Skua by James Hutchings.

Impressive case of Little Owls by James Hutchings. Unique in perhaps they are the only pair in existence and also Little Owls had just been introduced into the UK at this time. Classic historical british case.

European Little Owls in close up. Wanna borrow this image?.

European Little Owls in close up. Wanna borrow this image?.

Pair of young Badgers by James Hutchings.

Mixed case by James Hutchings of Aberystwyth, Wales.

Victorian Badger by James Hutchings.

Mixed case by James Hutchings.

Victorian African Bustards by James Hutchings.

Victorian Fox with prey by James Hutchings.

Victorian Fox with prey by James Hutchings.

Victorian Tawny Owl by James Hutchings.

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Victorian Fox with Red Grouse prey by James Hutchings. Like so many of these cases the only difference being the prey item. One wonders how many of these fox and prey still extant.

Victorian Polecats with prey by James Hutchings.

Victorian Hawks by James Hutchings. This case pre-dates the now 3 sided glass cases more commonly encountered.

Most of their work is of common animals, particularly foxes. However, they were also known to have worked on elephants and other exotic animals. They also preserved rare birds which had been shot in Cardiganshire. The firm had shops in Bridge Street, and later Corporation Street, Aberystwyth, and they were said to be filled with all sorts of strange animals including a bear holding a silver dish (possibly made for a local mansion) and a calf with two heads. On his invoices, James Hutchings is described as a 'Taxidermist and Gun Smith' and he advertised for the skins of stoats, polecats, foxes, badgers and otters for making stoles.

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