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Artist Photographer, Graphic Designer, and researcher focused on the history of taxidermy and natural history collections, with a special interest in 19th century culture.

Please note: Annick @Aldoworkshop is not affiliated with the Royal Museum for Central Africa, rather a natural history enthusiast dedicatedly passionate about the museum and its mission.

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An Elephant's Biography: The LOST ELEPHANT FILM

The Royal Museum for Central Africa at Tervuren in Belgium has a giant mounted bull elephant. Prepared by Rowland Ward Ltd. of Piccadilly, London, the giant beast never fails to mesmerize the onlooker and remains one of its most iconic exhibits.
Completed in 1957, the elephant was one of the last full mount elephants prepared by Ward's studio. It was set up in the Belgian Congo Fauna Pavilion at the international exhibition held in Brussels in 1958.
The process of mounting the Tervuren elephant took 12 men and six months to complete. The process was filmed at Rowland Ward's workshop. However, the film is lost, or at least presumed lost, and its existence is only known through publicity stills and written descriptions.
Could it be that this unique bit of Rowland Ward history has vanished without a trace?
Do you know anything about the film?

Wardian Furniture

A curious byproduct of taxidermy so-called 'Wardian Furniture' was another of Rowland Ward's innovations developing from his 'Zoological Lamps', their supports composed of variously arranged birds or quadrupeds, first marketed in the winter of 1872. Following their success with the buying public other 'household objects' what Ward called "spolia" as exemplified by the conversion of elephants' feet into liqueur stands were introduced.
As taxidermists, Ward and his brother Edwin were well ahead of their times. Among the more unusual products to emerge from 'The Jungle' were registered crocodile umbrella-stands, snake tables, a hall porter's chair made from a whole adolescent elephant, elephant rib-bone and skin chairs and a bear dumb-waiter, holding trays or menus.
The article ‘Animal Furniture’ by William G. Fitzgerald in The Strand Magazine of 1896 provides a contemporary key to Zoomorphic objects and their use in the decorative arts. Edwin Ward retired in 1879 and sold his business to his brother-in-law, George Frederick Butt, who supplied much of the information and photographs to Fitzgerald.
George Butt, formerly Edwin Ward's chief taxidermist, carried on the establishment in Wigmore Street under the same name. This incensed Rowland - by this time in business himself - who eventually bought him out in 1911.

William G. Fitzgerald, 'Animal Furniture'

Strand Magazine, vol. 12 (1896), p. 273-280.
  • William G. Fitzgerald, Animal Furniture, The Strand Magazine, v.12, 1890, pages 273-280.
  • E.S. Turner, Taxidermy needs your son, London Charivari, v.252.
  • Pat Morris, Rowland Ward Taxidermist to the World, MPM 2003.
  • Rowland Ward, A Naturalist's Life Study in the Art of Taxidermy, London: Rowland Ward, 1913.