A Wonderful c.1900 Cased Taxidermy Ring-Necked Parakeet & Black Eared Wheatear by W.C. Shelbrooke

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian/Edwardian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1895-1910
The Case:
Depth: 5.5 inches
Width: 11 inches
Height: 19 inches

The ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and black eared wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) specimens housed within a naturalistic setting of grasses and branches with a naïve and whimsically painted background of palm trees, the whole housed in a stained and glazed display case preserved by W.C. Shelbrooke, 65 Friars Street, Bridgenorth, and surviving from the last quarter of the nineteenth century in good overall condition.

The overall composition is of a high quality and each bird is in good condition with expected fade to the plumage but nothing out of the ordinary. The glazing and case are all original and the rest of the composition is very well preserved with expected wear to the stained case which appears ebonised but is just a dark stain. There is a paper label to the reverse bearing the makers name ‘W.C. Shelbrooke Taxidermist 65 Friars Street, Bridgenorth’.

W.C. Shelbrooke were known as good and very active taxidermists from the late nineteenth century and continued preserving until at least the late 1930s. Their most recognisable trait is the hand painted naturalistic, but often, whimsically depicted, backgrounds to each composition and this particular example is certainly at the height of whimsy.

Noisy Bird

High in a palm tree a very noisy bird
Carried on warbling to point of absurd
The incessant song was necessarily heard
Til the wind roared and air bestirred
Yet, from his music, he wasn’t deterred
That chirping, raucous, noisy bird.