London: L. Upcott Gill, circa 1900.
Second Edition, Revised and considerably Enlarged with additional Instructions in Modelling and Artistic Taxidermy. Hardcover. "These pages are merely an introduction to a delightful art, which must be wooed with patient determination and loving pains until technical skill invests it with beauty..." so begins museum curator Montagu Browne's turn-of-the-century illustrated guide to the fine art of taxidermy. This Second Edition adds not only considerable additional content, including a chapter on taxidermy presentation in museum settings, but several further woodcuts and, most notably, four plates of animal illustrations. Browne seemingly leaves no stone unturned, beginning with a chapter on the history, rise, and progress of taxidermy, starting with the ancient Egyptians, continuing onward to a chapter on decoying and trapping animals before launching into the fine details of tools, preservatives, skinning and preserving, modelling by way of clay, plaster, and wax, dressing and softening furs, cleaning skins, coloring and restoring, presentation--complete with "fitting-up" of botanical specimens for a natural effect, and museum arrangement, all fascinatingly illustrated throughout in frontispiece and three plates of animals in various states, near sixty figures, most frequently of the taxidermist's instruments, and fold-out plate, "Projected Plan of Arrangement of Vertebrates in the Zoological Room, Leicester Town Museum," of which Montagu Brown was curator. This beautiful, if rather unsettlingly so, artifact of late Victorian taxidermy is nothing if not sincerely, thoroughly, and artistically constructed in binding, text, and illustration. An exquisitely well-preserved copy.
7 1/2" X 5". viii, 354pp, plus [vii], 2-12pp, [ii] ads to rear. Presents nicely in protective archival jacket. Green cloth over boards, with heraldic motif of woodland creatures stamped in dark greens and taupe to upper board and spine, both lettered in gilt, with interior taxidermied lion in cameo to upper board as well. Moderate edgewear to binding, with rubbing to extremities, very small closed tear to head of spine, and gentle bumping. Green floral patterned endpapers. Hinges a touch tender; binding remains quite firm and sound. Very occasional light scattered foxing, else pages clean and unmarked. Fascinatingly illustrated throughout in frontispiece and three plates of animals in various states, near sixty figures, most frequently of the taxidermist's instruments, and fold-out plate, "Projected Plan of Arrangement of Vertebrates in the Zoological Room, Leicester Town Museum," of which Montagu Brown was curator. Good. Item #6165