A CHARMING VICTORIAN GLASS DOME WITH TAXIDERMY HUMMINGBIRDS BY AND LABELLED FOR HENRY WARD (1812-1878)
England, circa 1850
With a central branch sprouting from the oval base, supporting several birds, possibly amongst others a Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea), Purple Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus), Sickle-billed Hummingbird (Eutoxeres aquila), Fork-tailed woodnymph hummingbird (Thalurania furcata), Green-bearded Helmetcrest hummingbird (Oxypogon guerinii) and Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna), with original dome and labelled Henry Ward of Picadilly on one branch.
H. 40 cm
Noble collection, United Kingdom
As a young man, Henry Ward (1812-78) was employed as a taxidermist by the legendary American naturalist and bird painter John Audubon, whom he accompanied on several of his expeditions. They probably met whilst the latter was visiting England in 1931, and returned to America together. How long Ward remained in America is not known, but he is listed in trade directories as a taxidermist at his London address (2, Vere Street) from 1857 until his death in 1878. His most common trade label is very small and is situated inside his cases. The 'late Williams' refers to the fact that Ward worked for T.M.Williams of Oxford Street. He is described on one label as the 'chief artist in taxidermy to the late T. M. Williams'. Thomas Mutlow Williams, who was one of the dozen British taxidermists to appear at the 1851 Great Exhibition, is listed in trade directories at 155, Oxford Street, 1845-56. Ward did not take over Williams' premises. Cases bearing Henry Ward's own label, were probably produced between 1857 and 1878. Rowland Ward tells us that he derived considerable profit from his father's knowledge and experience during the ten years he worked with him. At the time of his death, Henry Ward was still at 2, Vere Street, although by then he also owned 5, Vere Street.
Zebregs&Röell highly values the natural world, and therefore only trades in antique specimens or animals that died of natural cause. We hope that these might spark a bit of love for the natural world. We value the pieces that are already there, hunted and made in a time the human race thought mother nature was inexhaustible, we are against hunting for pleasure or for new taxidermy.
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