Antiques collectors have chance to earn their stripes

Tiger Skin

A 3.2m tiger skin, estimate £1,000 - £1,500

Antiques collectors will be given the opportunity to earn their stripes when two tiger skins go under the hammer at a Cotswold auction.

The two skins, one measuring just over three metres nose to tail, the second just under three metres, were both prepared by the renowned taxidermists Van Ingen & Van Ingen of Mysore, India in the early 20th century.

Both carry estimates of £1,000 to £1,500, with the longest of the pair being accompanied by a photograph of the big game hunter standing over his kill.


The hunter stands over the body of the tiger

Meanwhile, bidders can be excused for seeing spots before their eyes, as no less than five leopard skins, with estimates ranging from £100 to £300 each, are offered for sale.

And with two lion skins at £200 to £300 each, a black bear at £400 to £600, and a grizzly bear at £400 to £600, auctioneers at Moore Allen & Innocent’s Sporting Sale in Cirencester on Friday, February 4 expect to do a roaring trade.

With all those predators around, it’s no wonder a stuffed and mounted tahr, or Himalayan goat, is looking so alert. A bid of £600 to £800 should secure him.

There are a selection of stags heads, the best of which, from the late Victorian period, was prepared by the leading taxidermist Roland Ward of Picadilly and carries an estimate of £300 to £500.

And there are large flocks of stuffed and mounted birds – wild, game, fowl, exotic, birds of prey and even a jackass penguin (£100 to £150), so called because of the braying noise it made while alive, rather than the fact that it didn’t move quickly enough when it saw a hunter coming.

Hawkstone Otterhounds at Hoddam Bridge, by Tom Carr

Hawkstone Otterhounds at Hoddam Bridge, by Tom Carr

Over in the paintings section is a watercolour gouache of the Hawkstone Otterhounds at Hoddam Bridge, painted by the famed artist Tom Carr in 1973 and carrying an estimate of £1,000 to £1,500.

Also worthy of note is Ascot (£600 to £1,000), a racing scene in oils by the sought-after artist Gilbert Holiday (1879 to 1937), of whom Lionel Edwards – whose prints are represented in the section – said “no one can, or ever could, paint a horse in action better than Gilbert could.”

During the Great War, Holiday worked as an artist for The Graphic, alongside another famed equestrian artist, Charles “Snaffles” Johnson Payne, and two limited edition Snaffles prints – The Guns! Thank God! The Guns! and a horse racing scene entitled Oh To Be in England Now That April’s There are both expected to achieve £300 to £500.

The fishing section features a selection of rods, lures and reels, among which the standout lots are an Allcock aerial reel with box, a Hardy Silex reel and a wooden Hardy reel, each with estimates of £100 to £150.

There is also a good selection of riding crops, hunting horns, guns and luggage, including an early 20th century crocodile skin suitcase – not likely to be confused on the baggage carrousel at the airport.

A picture signed by the players of the England cricket team's tour of Australia from 1920 to 1921

A picture signed by the players of the England cricket team's tour of Australia from 1920 to 1921

There are also some interesting items for football and cricket fans, including a collection of 290 Arsenal match programmes dating between 1963 and 1981 (£100 to £150), a picture signed by the players of the England cricket team’s tour of Australia from 1920 to 1921, (£100 to £150) during which five test matches were played – all won by Australia – and a late 20th century cricket bat signed by the players of Gloucestershire Cricket Club, including England International wicket-keeper Jack Russell, which carries an estimate of £50 to £80.

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