With the wave of wistful yesteryear nostalgia and love of all things vintage that’s taken London by storm over the last few years has come a resurgence in wearing pre-owned clothes, buying records and watching pre-Technicolor films. Oh, and collecting dead animals that have been artificially preserved and mounted. As any self-respecting retronaut knows, taxidermy – whether it’s having a stuffed owl on your mantelpiece or a full-sized fox by your bed – is big news these days.
But that’s not to say that it’s always done well. Taxidermy, like any other art, takes genuine skill and talent – something that is sadly wanting in the individuals who made the following pieces. Offensive (and full-on creepy) both to the eye and the unfortunate animals who gave up their skins, here’s our round-up of some truly terrible taxidermy.
Poor polar bear, this tundra titan wouldn’t strike much fear into a goldfish now, much less a seal. We can only wonder where his original teeth went – it looks like the artist responsible raided these suspiciously human-looking gnashers from his nan.
Embarrassingly bad taxidermy job aside (you don’t see many foxes gurning in the wild), we just can’t take this piece seriously. Whoever heard of a fox smoking shisha? Everyone knows they much prefer pipes.
'Squirrel' Pencil Case
Stocking up on Back To School supplies is always fun, but it’s fairly safe bet that you won’t see WH Smiths selling the likes of this. Created by Dan Walls, this ‘Sargent Squirrel Pencil Case’ not only has the useful feature of being able to shove your pens into its once-working stomach, but also comes with a wicked cool army-gear outfit.
Adding insult to injury to the sad death of one of the world’s most feared reptiles, the artist who stuffed this gator thought it would be a great idea to add a fringed skirt. Why not? Paired with a miniature ukulele and a round of pina coladas, Hula Gator goes down a storm at luaus.
Abominable in every sense of the word, we’re pretty sure that whoever made this is a certified psycho, serial murderer or both. Formed of bits of ducks, vermin and possibly a lizard or two (we really can’t tell), the fact that the two beasts are positioned to look as if they’re having sex is the final nail in the multiple coffins.
We can’t work out if this is very bad, or very good. If it’s a reproduction of the fox in life, then it’s absolutely terrible – but, if it’s been made to imitate the way the fox looked after he got run over by a car, then it gets full marks from us.
Frankenstein may have just been a story, but his legend lives on in deranged taxidermists around the world. Insulting fish, birds and Mother Nature herself, meet Fishbird. I’d try and put it out of its misery myself, if it wasn’t already dead.
A sure-fire way to guarantee nightmares for the next ten years. Place over your younger sibling’s bed for maximum effect.
My Little Lizard
Now, this is just plain cruel. Whether you find the whole concept of taxidermy creepy or not, the sight of this dead lizard sporting a princess hat and fairytale castle is enough to make anyone feel slightly nauseous – and the less we know about those soiled baby shoes, the better.
What is it? WHAT IS IT? We’re not 100% sure, but rumour is, if you stare at it too long, you, your children, and your children's children's dog will be cursed for the rest of your days. Be warned.