A Large & Fine 19thC Taxidermy Ornithological Quintet Group of Cormorants & Gulls


Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880-1900
The Case:
Depth: 16 inches
Width: 38 inches
Height: 30 inches

The quintet group of seabirds including cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae) and gulls (Laridae) within a naturalistic setting of coastal ferns, sea weeds and grasses, the whole housed in a generously sized ebonised display case surviving from the last quarter of the nineteenth century in good overall condition.

There is no makers mark present, aside from remnants of a paper label to the reverse, but the overall composition is of a high quality so it may have been from a good stable such as Peter Spicer & Sons. Each bird is in very good condition, the glazing and case are all original though the edges have been reinforced with black tape, as is so common with cases of this age. There is a small (approx two inch) crack to one upper corner of one flank. The rest of the composition is very well preserved.

To A Sea Bird (Santa Cruz 1869)

Sauntering hither on listless wings,
Careless vagabond of the sea,
Little thou heedest the surf that sings,
The bar that thunders, the shale that rings,-
Give me to keep thy company.

Little thou hast, old friend, that 's new;
Storms and wrecks are old things to thee;
Sick am I of these changes, too;
Little to care for, little to rue,-
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

All of thy wanderings, far and near,
Bring thee at last to shore and me;
All of my journeyings end them here:
This our tether must be our cheer,-
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

Lazily rocking on ocean's breast,
Something in common, old friend, have we:
Thou on the shingle seek'st thy nest,
I to the waters look for rest,-
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

Francis Bret Harte