I’m in the middle of producing a whole new range of the Victorian Collector necklaces (watch this space!). All my inspiration has come from natural history collections, so I’ve been spending quite a bit of time recently in natural history museums. I love these places, so I would probably be there anyway, new necklaces or not.
The most recent place I visited was the Natural History Museum collection at Tring. Most of whats on display used to be the collection of Walter Rothschild, the son of a wealthy financier. Walter’s father made him spend many years working in the financial industry and eventually disowned his son, who from a very early age just wanted to collect and study animals. He had his own natural history museum from very young and then went on to collect live animals for his park too. He enjoyed such activities as riding his giant tortoise round the garden and taking a carriage pulled by zebras into Buckingham Palace. Interesting indeed! The museum now is jam packed full of specimens of birds, insects, fish, mammals, many of them still in their original display cases.
Three bears guarding the entrance to the first gallery.
Rothschild’s weird obsession with the stripy ones.
Sign for visitors at the bottom of Tring highstreet.
So there you have it, part 1 of This way to the Zoological Museum: ventures into the world of stuffed animals. I can’t really explain what it is thats so inspiring about these places, they’re both a little creepy and a lot of amazing. The Victorian Collector necklaces are inspired by all this collecting and studying, including the very scientific looking little Latin name labels. More to come (and many more photos of stuffed animals I’m sure, sorry I can’t help it). I’m off to ride my giant tortoise round the garden now… x