An Early 20thC Taxidermy Study of A Mounted Cobra Repelling a Mongoose

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Origin: Anglo-Indian
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930   
Depth: 9 inches
Width: 9 inches
Height: 22 inches


In battle since the 1930s, the mongoose and king cobra, legendary enemies, square off in this classic encounter. Here the mongoose, master of the quick dart, dances and feints to make the cobra strike and miss….then the little snake-hater himself will strike. Mongooses are almost always victorious because of their speed, agility, timing and thick coat, but this particular battle is long from finished.

Unafraid, the mongoose brings the fight to the snake; always with the purpose of getting a firm toothhold on the head, for a bitten king cobra lashes about so violently it often dislodges its adversary. As the snake maneuvers to strike without getting too far off balance, it finds the mongoose poised and ready to execute a seemingly impossible escape or counterattack. The battle sways one way and then the other like ship swaying in a rough sea.

The cobra shows some semblance of an attack to his left jowl, where a medics advice would be welcome, though the overall condition of both fighters is good considering how long they have been sparring.

Still seemingly inseparable, with nothing to choose between the brave fighters, this embattled pair have been squabbling for well over eighty years now. Will their fight ever end?.. Maybe in round three thousand and eighty three…

NB: This pair have an admirer in none other than antiques expert and general top chap Tim Wonnacott, who upon seeing the pair offered to give them a new home immediately!

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