A Striking Late Victorian Dome Cased Taxidermy Giant African Kingfisher c.1890

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890
Height: 19.5” (the whole)
Base Diameter: 14”

The stuffed and mounted Giant African Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima, in very good overall condition, mounted with wings spread to a naturalistic ground under a good quality late Victorian glass dome and raised on an gilded circular base survives preserved the late Victorian period.

The sudden flash of delicate blue
That lightning strike so wondrously true
There, gone in the blink of an eye,
And no matter how hard you try,
The only evidence were the rings
Of bright water that sweetly sings.

It is very rarely seen sitting ghostly
On a low slung branch, or twig, mostly
Just above the waters edge,
Or on their perch just above the ledge
And to return with their kill
To bash to death with their bill.

And swallow whole their gotten gain,
Small fry, tadpole or molluscs strain
Their way down to the depths.
I saw one once standing on the steps,
Near Rhayder, on the river Wye,
It flew off before I could say good-bye.

David Wood