There’s a Moose Loose in this Auction House!

Posted on 27th January 2016

Rarely do visitors from “The Jungle” grace the saleroom, and indeed I’ve only ever come across one other in my fifteen year career before this encounter.

Don’t panic you won’t be chased by a tiger or bitten by a snake at our next viewing or, even worse, embraced by Ant and Dec!

“The Jungle” of course refers to the studio of the celebrated Victorian taxidermist Rowland Ward. James Rowland Ward was born in London in 1947, the son of Henry Ward who himself was a noted taxidermist and a close friend of the American ornithologist, painter and naturalist John James Audubon (1785-1851).

We will be offering this handsomely mounted moose in our Gallery Sale on Tuesday, 9 February. Retaining the original trade label of Rowland Ward and the number 9160 in chalk, it carries an estimate of £400-600.

Rowland Ward left school at the age of fourteen to work in his father’s studio where it soon became clear that he was a gifted sculptor and illustrator. After ten years apprenticeship he started his own business which, through sheer hard work and determination, he managed to turn into a profitable enterprise without detriment to his innovative style and artistry. 

Winston Churchill, Walter Rothschild, Kings Edward VII and George V, along with numerous American and European celebrities would bring their trophies to his Piccadilly studio to be mounted.

Ward was also a publisher of sporting books, many of which are now highly prized by collectors. The taxidermy and publishing business continued after his death in 1912 and for a period prospered due to developing new clients in America. However, by the late 1960’s trading was tough and the workshop closed in the mid 1970’s.

The catalogue for the auction will go online on Friday, 5 February and you can bid live via, leave an absentee bid via our own website, arrange a telephone bid or attend the auction which will start at 10am. A word of warning though for interested bidders, it took six men, two hours and several cups of tea to hang!

David Elstob

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