Period: Late-Nineteenth Century
Height: 34 inches (with antlers)
Width: 25 inches (with antlers)
Depth: 12 inches (at maximum)
A fine antique example, dating to September 1887, this chap has a pleasing expression and chestnut colour and is ready to hang. The condition notes to report being some thinning of his hair mainly to the snout and a small crack to the same area; neither is particularly detrimental to the whole; the antlers, eyes and ears are all in fine order.
The hardwood shield has an old repair, but remains in fully in tact and there is a fascinating label, with the date written by hand, which reads verso: “A.S. Hunter?, Naturalist, Preserver of Birds, Beasts…. Stags Heads, Dogs…. Curator to the Handsworth Natural history Society…Church St, Alcester, September 1887”.
Introduced by the Normans in the 10th Century (or even earlier perhaps by the Romans) fallow deer are intermediate in size between roe and red deer. There are four main variations in coat, all having white spots to the back and the fallow is the only British deer with palmate antlers. Fallow deer were prized as ornamental species and were protected in Royal Hunting "Forests" for royal sport. During Mediaeval times many deer parks that held fallow deer were established and these and more recent park escapees have given rise to the free-living populations in Britain today.
A noble example, and one of considerable age.