John Cooper Trout Fish Taxidermy

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1935 Record Brown Trout, preserved by John Cooper & Sons

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.
Record Trout caught by a woman in 1935, by Mrs Molly Constance.Lloyd-Davies.

Record Trout caught by a woman in 1935, by Mrs Molly Constance.Lloyd-Davies.

"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.
Record Trout caught by a woman in 1935, by Mrs Molly Constance.Lloyd-Davies

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.
Record Trout caught by a woman in 1935, by Mrs Molly Constance.Lloyd-Davies.

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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