Over to the Tring Museum for a Saturday morning run-out. This extension of the Natural History Museum contains the collection of Walter Rothschild: thousands of creatures stuffed and mounted.
The exhibition is unnerving and fascinating in equal measure. Some rooms are just plain bizarre. Particularly disquieting are the array of dogs and display of apes. On the other hand the collection exists from a different age and it’s still unusual to get this close to a tiger or walrus. It suprises me on each visit just what massive creatures they are.
The fish section has some very weird and wonderful specimens, though it’s hard to work out which are real, which are casts and which are models. Nick pointed out that there isn’t much left to mount once you’ve gutted a fish and they lose their colour. The deep-sea angler fish (of “Finding Nemo” fame) are marked as being 8x which means they must actually be tiny. The cabinets of butterflies, moths and other invertebrates are quite spectacular.
We half-expected to find Walter himself stuffed and mounted in a glass case. Instead there’s just a photograph of him driving a carriage pulled by three zebras and a donkey:
All in all, well worth a visit: