Taxidermy by John Cooper & Sons. Perhaps regarded as the very best British Historical Fish Taxidermist.


We are always very interested in Purchasing Victorian Taxidermy, please respond via this on-line form of what you have for sale. HERE

We get asked to recommend Fish Taxidermistís and Taxidermy Resources by our friends, we now include below a list of those we have had favourable feedback on this is not a complete list, if you don't find what your looking for then please feel free to contact us. If you also wish to link to us then your taxidermy information shall only be placed in the appropriate class.

Most of the fish on this page are from one collection


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28lb Salmon.

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Marston Pike by John Cooper. "R Marston actually caught the trout. He was reeling in the trout when the pike took it, and then he thought he was going to lose it. B Marston had to reel in the two fish for 50 yards at a Dorset river, hoping that the line would hold out until both fish were landed. "But on very light tackle he managed to land the trout with the pike still hanging onto it." Writing in the Fisherman's Gazette in 1912, RB Marston described his amazing catch.

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Brown Trout by John Cooper.

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Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons.

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Stunning pair of cases by John Cooper.

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Stunning pair of cases by John Cooper.

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A monster 25lb Pike in a 4ft bow fronted case. Many thanks for the image Chris.

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Lovely scale painted Roach by John Cooper & Sons. This case dates from around 1950. Another item fresh to the market, un-altered and that is not for sale. Label is located in the top right hand corner.

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Brown Trout caught in Lough Erne 1931 by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pair of Dace by John Cooper & Sons.

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Perch by John Cooper & Sons.

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Barbel by John Cooper & Sons.

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Perch by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Chub by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Trout by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream by John Cooper & Sons.

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Tench by John Cooper & Sons.

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Course fish, Roach and Chub by John Cooper & Sons.

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Brown Trout in a wrap around case by John Cooper & Sons.

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Roach by John Cooper & Sons.

Birds by John Cooper & Sons

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Dotterell by John Cooper & Sons.

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Grouse by John Cooper & Sons.

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Red Backed Shrike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Short Eared Owl by John Cooper & Sons.

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Golden Plover by John Cooper & Sons.

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Green Woodpecker by John Cooper & Sons.

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Grey Heron by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pair of Red Grouse by John Cooper & Sons. Cooper was more renowned for their fish but here is a lovely pair of grouse.

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Peregrine Falcon by John Cooper.

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European Quail by John Cooper.

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European Kingfishers by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Widgeon by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Mallard by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Pintail by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Quails with chicks by John Cooper & Sons.

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Grey Heron by John Cooper & Sons.

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Victorian Gannet by John Cooper & Sons, fish taxidermists.

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Female Cuckoo by John Cooper & Sons. Cooper was principly a fish taxidermist.


A selection of fish by John Cooper & Sons

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Lovely Grayling and Roach by John Cooper & Sons.

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Label from the above case by John Cooper & Sons.

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Record Trout caught by a woman in 1935, by Mrs Molly Constance.Lloyd-Davies. This is part of the extract from the above article contained within The Fishing Gazette, dated 22nd of June 1935. It recounts the events leading up to the capture of this Brown Trout from Loch Garry in Inverness-shire and also sending the fish to Messrs John Cooper and Sons for mounting and casing. "While trolling natural bait mounted on a "Crocodile" spinner on Loch Garry, on Tuesday the 14th of May 1935, Mrs A.W. Lloyd-Davies of Wolverhampton hooked a large trout. The fish twice threw itself out of the water in an effort to escape and made determined rushes to avoid being landed. After 45 minutes of excitement and anxiety the fish was close to the opposite shore, about a mile from where it was originally hooked. The recorded weight of the fish was 12lbs and it measured 31 inches long and 16.5 inches in girth. Once some of the scales were removed to age the fish and to authenticate its capture it was then sent to John Cooper & Sons for preservation". The examination of the fish scales and the time of year, it was judged that it was approximately 10 years old and it was considered that it may have inhabited a tributary stream of Loch Garry for most of its life prior to capture. This case has since remained in the family ownership since this time.
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Record Trout caught by a woman in 1935, by Mrs Molly Constance.Lloyd-Davies. This Trout was the heaviest fish recorded since the Mrs Hall-Walker who captured a 12lb, 8.5 ounce fish in 1912 on The River Test, in Hampshire. An interesting piece of social angling history, between the war years. Also within the same article is reference to another fish caught by Dr Altken of Norwich which weighed 10lb around the same time of year. It is unclear however from this article whether this fish was also preserved by messrs John Cooper & Sons of London. What is astonishing to consider is that this fish would have been transported from Inverness-shire to London, presumably over at least 2 days and delivered in a fit condition for Cooper & Sons to be able to both preserve the fish and also to re-create the fish markings and colour. Also you will note from the image of the preserved case that the tail fin is split in two places and Coopers appear to have made no attempt to "make good" this fault which in our opinion adds to the authenticity of the fish as captured. Sometimes fish taxidermists tend to make the fish "look better" in death than in life, with the resultant trophy has the tendency to look less life-like had they not attended to these faults. This case is also a transitional case in terms of background colour changes and the use of conifer branches to depict under water ferns. Also Cooper's were changing styles around this period to adopt a scale painted version of their preserved fish (Roach, Bream by example) which whilst is high in detail, perhaps in some cases, too much detail as to look false and or contrived.
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Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Perch by John Cooper & Sons.

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Scale painted Roach by John Cooper & Sons. These cases were undertake when Griggs owned the company.

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Scale painted Bream by John Cooper & Sons. These cases were undertake when Griggs owned the company.

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Tench by W.B.Griggs. This case was undertake by W.B. Griggs who went on to own John Cooper & Sons.

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Scale painted Roach by John Cooper & Sons. These cases were undertake when Griggs owned the company.

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Scale painted Roach by John Cooper & Sons. These cases were undertake when Griggs owned the company. Data for the above case

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Pike by John Cooper. John Cooper would have typically used shellac to make the fish look wet and then moved onto varnish to acheive the same effect later on in the firm's history. This fish is an early fish, hence the use of shellac. This fish is dated around 1897.

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Discrete labelling by John Cooper & Sons.

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Chub in a wrap-around case by John Cooper & Sons.

John Cooper & Sons

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Lovely Trio of Trout by John Cooper & Sons.

This company is perhaps the finest exponent of taxidermied fish certainly in Europe. They pioneered the use of materials and techniques that in the main are still in use today, if you wish to have a fish prepared and not just a cast replica. The company is appears was founded in 1830 by John Cooper and was in continuous trading for over 120 years. The style may have changed but the quality was also of the highest order. The trade labels so often found in the cases state that the principle premises were Radnor Street, London and then Bath Road Hounslow after the World War.
The cases that are more sought after these days are nearly always bowed in nature. 2mm float glass was employed to shown the specimen off in the best possible way and to also give a greater impression of water in the case. Whilst other firms created fish taxidermy, Coopers were by far the most proficient at it. Other who undertook fish taxidermy, were Rowland Ward, Peter Spicer, WF Homer, FW Anstiss, Williams of Dublin, Saunders, W Barnes and of course Griggs. Typically British Course fish and game fish were mounted to meet that specialist niche requirement and fish most commonly found are Pike, Trout, Bream, Tench, Roach, Rudd and Perch. Rarer fish such as Arctic Char, Bleak and Salmon were produced but these it appears were not the norm.
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Fine pair of Tench by W.B.Griggs of Manor Park, London. These fish were preserved in 1914, see label below. This case is completely original, untouched and not for sale. It would benefit from a clean and re-taping though.

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Data label from the case above.

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Data label from the case above.

Cooper produced fish on an industrial scale and given the companyís tenure it is hardly surprising to find that many many examples of the cased fish have survived the 100 plus years. That said and perhaps given the prices that these cases fetch, it has tended to create a market for Cooper fakes. Merely transplanting a trade label into a lesser case or in some cases a complete re-creation / fake. Our suggestion is buy with caution and buy from reputable dealer / taxidermist like Barry Williams, who specialises in fish taxidermy and is well versed in the work of John Cooper & Sons.
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Lovely Brown Trout by John Cooper.

John Cooper & Sons also produced cased birds and mammals. Whilst it could be argued that these are rare, they did not specialize in such items and as a consequence the quality is not the same as those companies that produced taxidermy birds and mammals as their primary line of business. No different to James Gardner producing fish and expecting them to be of the same quality is John Cooper. One reason for fish cases standing the test of time is that they suffer less from insect attack as cased birds and mammals do. Wood worm and museum beetle can affect the cases in a similar way to antique furniture. Cases can be restored but it is recommended that you do not destroy the glass in the restoration process as this is the most expensive part of the case to replace and it will detract from it originality especially if the front glass contained writing with gold leaf denoting the specie, date and place of capture.

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Arctic Char by John Cooper & Sons. Arctic charr occurs in lakes across Britain and Ireland and was previously described here as 15 separate species. Most authorities now agree that all these stocks belong to a single polymorphic species complex Salvelinus alpinus (L.). This fish is given little protection in British and Irish law and there has been a steady loss of natural populations in recent years in all the countries concerned. A few new stocks have been created either intentionally or accidentally. In Scotland, only a small proportion of the 258 recorded natural populations has been studied and at least 12 of these are now extinct. It is a pity that the fish data did not record from where they were captured. Given the location of purchase this might suggest these fish can from a Welsh lake.

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Arctic Char by John Cooper & Sons.

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Arctic Char by John Cooper & Sons.

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Arctic Char invoice by John Cooper & Sons. A piece of modern taxidermy history. The underbidder being a Mr Hall, who is sadly no longer with us. These fish were later on sold at an auction house in London.

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Arctic Char by John Cooper & Sons.

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Arctic Char.

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Arctic Char by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons. Cooper was principly a fish taxidermist.A 30lb Pike caught by D. Tate on Hickling Broad Norfolk on live bait 14th October 1956. Invoice and statement from John Cooper & Sons (Proprietor L. F. Griggs) to Mr. Tate showing: To Preserving & Mounting Pike 30lbs in bent glass case £23.00 and Paid account (the statement) £5.00, shows this amount already on deposit. The statement dated 1956 and the invoice 1958. It would be interesting to know what the modern day equivalent of this old money would be. A footnote to the above legend and invoices is also important. This important case is believed to be the last 30lb Pike preserved by J. Cooper & Sons before they closed in the early 1960ís. Initially the captor was turned away, despite having his 22lb Pike mounted by Cooperís only three years previously, because the business was struggling to keep up with their work. However after enquiring about the weight of the Pike and learning it was of the magical 30lbs, Mr. L. F. Griggs agreed to mount it. It took fifteen months for the fish to be completed and was collected on January 8th 1958. The taxidermist was unable to offer the gilt lettering service to the vendor, the skilled gentleman having past away, so the angler had it added by a friend.


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30lb Pike by John Cooper & Sons. The above fish in close up


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30lb Pike invoice by John Cooper & Sons. The above fish in close up


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30lb Pike invoice by John Cooper & Sons. The above fish in close up


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A 22lb Pike by J. Cooper. Caught with the use of a "spinning dead bait" on Hickling Broad by D Tate, Oct. 6th 1953. Bears label to top left: Preserved by J Cooper & Sons The invoice to Mr. D. Tate dated Aug.1954. To: Preserving & Mounting Pike 22lbs in bent glass case £18.00 gold leaf inscription £1, 8 shillings and 10 pence and showing a total of £19, 8 shillings and 10 pence The invoice showing (Proprietor W. B. Griggs). It would be interesting to know what the modern day equivalent of this old money would be.


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Pair of Pike by John Cooper & Sons.


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Scale painted Roach dated 1948 by John Cooper & Sons.


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European Common and Mirror Carp by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Crucian Carp by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Bream by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Roach by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Grayling by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Bream by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Stoat by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Heron by John Cooper & Sons. Cooper was principly a fish taxidermist.


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European Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Chub by John Cooper & Sons. This fish is understood to have been a British rod caught record.

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"PAIR OF ROACH". J. Cooper & sons 1895. Case measures 27" x 141/2" with insciption on glass "Roach, taken by hicks at Amberley. wieght 1lb 8 ozs &1lb 9ozs.

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"PAIR OF DACE". By J. Cooper & Sons measures 21" x 121/2" has a paper label affixed to the inside right hand top corner, whic reads, "Caught by H.T.Bouffler, Henley, Jan. 25th 1924, wieghts 10ozs 10 drms, 10ozs 3 grms."

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"TENCH". J. Cooper & Sons. With paper label,"Tanch, caught by H.T. Bouffler near Wisbeach, July 29th 1917, wieght 3lbs 12ozs. Measures 231/2" x 121/2"

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"RUDD". J. Cooper & Sons. With paper label, "Rudd caught by H.T. Bouffler, River Duse, Bedford, Wieght 1lb. 10ozs. Measures, 181/2" x 111/2"

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'RUDD". J. Cooper & Sons. "Caught by F.C. Gerrard in Stour, Feb.6th, 1921, Wgt. 1lb. 111/4ozs. Measures19" x 121/2".

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"DACE". J. Cooper & Sons. case inscribed "Dace, 121/2ozs

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Trio of Perch by John Cooper & Sons

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Bleak by John Cooper & Sons

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Pikelet by John Cooper & Sons

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Bream by John Cooper & Sons

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Bream by John Cooper & Sons

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Peregrine Falcon with Racing Pigeon prey by John Cooper & Sons. Victorian Taxidermist.

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Grayling by Cooper & Sons.

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Brown Trout by Cooper & Sons.

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Bream by Cooper & Sons.

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Bream by John Cooper & Sons.

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Barble by John Cooper & Sons.

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Chub by John Cooper & Sons.

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Chub by John Cooper & Sons.

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Roach by John Cooper & Sons

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Tench by John Cooper & Sons.The fish are my late fathers and I presume he would have had to pay a lot of money to have them mounted in the 1930,s.He was only a labourer on about thirty shillings a week.

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Roach by John Cooper & Sons.The fish are my late fathers and I presume he would have had to pay a lot of money to have them mounted in the 1930,s.He was only a labourer on about thirty shillings a week. Thanks for the images Peter.

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Victorian case of Red Necked Phalarope in Winter plumage by John Cooper & Sons.

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Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons.

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Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons.

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Common or Black Headed Gull by John Cooper.
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Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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Barbel by John Cooper & Sons.

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Perch by John Cooper & Sons.

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Perch by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons.

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European Knot in winter plumage by John Cooper & Sons.

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons. These fish are 30lb each approximately.

The excellence of John Cooper Fish, perhaps the finest fish taxidermist of his time. Below is a sequence of images of a 1944 Cooper Bream. Thanks Kevin.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Bream, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Trio of fish by John Cooper & Sons. Tench Roach and Pike, once owned by Andy Henry.

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Chub by John Cooper & Sons

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Pike by John Cooper & Sons

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Roach by John Cooper & Sons

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Tench by John Cooper & Sons

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Trout by John Cooper & Sons

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Bream by John Cooper & Sons

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European Little Grebe or Dabchick by John Cooper & Sons.

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Victorian Roach, by John Cooper & Sons.

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Tench by John Cooper

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Bream 4lb in weight by John Cooper & Sons.


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Bream 4lb in weight by John Cooper & Sons.


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Bream 4lb in weight in close up by John Cooper & Sons.


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Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons

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Victorian Pike by John Cooper & Sons

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Victorian Reeves Pheasant by John Cooper.

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Bream 4lb in weight by John Cooper & Sons.


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Bream 9lb in weight by John Cooper & Sons.


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Victorian Tench by John Cooper and Sons. Caught in Syon Lake Chiswick, London


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Rudd by John Cooper & Sons of London
.

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Victorian Grayling by John Cooper & Sons of London. John Cooper and Sons are mainly known for their very good quality bow-fronted fish cases. Typically Pike chub, Salmon and Trout were favoured as well as Tench Roach and Rudd The firm was founded by John Cooper, a former watchmaker, in the 1830s and was continued after his death in 1872 by his son John. The business became known as J Cooper and Sons from c1896 when John junior was joined by his sons.


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Victorian Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons of London.


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Victorian Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons of London.


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Pike By John Cooper & Sons

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Label by John Cooper & Sons

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Tench By John Cooper & Sons

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Roach By John Cooper & Sons

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Victorian label by John Cooper & Sons, fish taxidermists.


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Victorian Tench by John Cooper & Sons of London.


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Pike by John Cooper and Sons.


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Victorian Tench by John Cooper & Sons of London.


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Victorian Pike with prey by John Cooper and Sons.


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Victorian Pike with prey by John Cooper and Sons, once owned by Andy Henry.

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Victorian Pike with prey by John Cooper and Sons, once owned by Andy Henry.

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Victorian Bream by John Cooper & Sons of London.


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Victorian case by John Cooper & Sons of a pair of Chub .

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Victorian Brown Trout by John Cooper & Sons of London.

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Victorian Roach by John Cooper & Sons of London.

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Chub by John Cooper & Sons of London
.

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Victorian Perch by John Cooper & Sons of London. John Cooper and Sons are mainly known for their very good quality bow-fronted fish cases. Typically Pike chub, Salmon and Trout were favoured as well as Tench Roach and Rudd. The firm was founded by John Cooper, a former watchmaker, in the 1830s and was continued after his death in 1872 by his son John. The business became known as J Cooper and Sons from c1896 when John junior was joined by his sons. Today these cases are highly prized

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Roach by John Cooper & Sons of London.

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Victorian case of a Pike by John Cooper and Sons .

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Victorian case by John Cooper & Sons of a Roach .

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Victorian case by John Cooper & Sons of Grayling and Roach .

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Victorian Perch in bowfront case, could be by Cooper


Outlined below are some websites which we hope you enjoy

www.clearwatertaxidermy.co.uk
www.fishtaxidermy.co.uk
www.warrentaxidermy.bizland.com
www.aa-taxidermy.com
Realistic Taxidermy
www.lakeforktaxidermy.com
www.graytaxidermy.com
www.fishingnet.com
www.taxidermy-uk.net/fish
www.taxidermy.co.uk

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