A 19thC Taxidermy Stoat in a Naively Painted Display Case

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Height: 9.5”
Width: 16.5”
Depth: 5.5”

The preserved stoat (Mustela erminea) specimen housed within a naturalistic setting of grasses and branches with a naïve and whimsically painted background of trees, a farmhouse and a windmill amongst birds, the whole housed in a stained and glazed display case surviving from the last quarter of the nineteenth century in good overall condition.

The overall composition is in good condition with expected fade to the whole but nothing out of the ordinary; there are two horizontal hairline cracks to the background as photographed. The glazing and case are all original and the rest of the composition is very well preserved with expected wear to the stained case.

The alert, inquisitive stoat is one of the fiercest of predators. It can move fast, maybe up to twenty miles an hour. The stoat is a true carnivore, although it will eat birds' eggs, and feeds mainly on small mammals such as rabbits, hares, mice, voles and shrews or whatever is readily available in its territory. Birds are also eaten, and when other prey is scarce, they will even eat earthworms, large insects and carrion.

The charming naively painted background is what elevates this from the norm.