Quantock Staghounds: A Vintage Pair of Mounted Taxidermy Eight-Point Red Deer Antlers


Origin: English
Period: Early/Mid Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1933
Height: 38 inches (at maximum)
Width: 31 inches (at maximum)
Depth: 15 inches (at maximum)
Shield Width: 8 inches

Flanking a partial skull, inscribed “October 10th 1933 Found in Atchamms Killed under Reacombe”, on an oak shield with plaque "W. W. WIGGIN / MASTER / E. BAWDEN".

Bawden is an Exmoor name and Ernest Bawden was dedicated to hunting. It was his whole life and he was known as a great character. He was living at Hinam, Exmoor which he'd bought, and had built a bungalow there when he retired. He used to help the farmer there in the corn harvest, and in the days of a binder and horse and cart, they were carrying this field of corn. A storm arrived and to save the load getting wet he went to the horse's head to say, 'Come on in', and the horse took fright, knocked him down and the wheel of the cart went across his chest; he subsequently died the next day in Minehead hospital in 1943; ten years after hunting this deer. Alan Bawden, his twelve-year-old son went hunting with Ernest many times, and was 12 when he died, but didn't go to the funeral. It was one of the biggest funerals ever seen in Hawkridge.

Similar antlers mounted by Ernest Bawden have been recorded as found such as "Sep'r 13th 1923 / Found in Harford Cleave / Killed in Longwood" and anther set, astonishingly close in date to this pair reading “Oct 21st 1933. Found in Great Headon. Killed at Hukeley Bridge'.

This wonderful set of antlers bear a tragic yet beautiful story; a truly colourful character hunted this deer and in turn the animal kingdom took vengeance a decade later to prematurely take Ernest’s own life.