Cream-coloured Coursers are desert birds which occasionally find their way to Northern Europe. This bird was shot in 1845 at Sopley, Hampshire by a shepherd employed by Mr W Tice and later mounted for display. The background shows a wet heathland typical to the north of Christchurch with the Purbeck Hills in the background. Extract from Edward Hart's Catalogue: "A scarce straggler to England, shot at Sopley, 1845, by a Shepherd in the employ of Mr W Tice."
This cased bird is the work of Edward Hart, a 19th century taxidermist, who lived in Christchurch. Edward’s father, William, was also a taxidermist who passed on his skills, and later his business 'William Hart & Son, Preservers of Birds and Beasts', to his son. Unlike the cases produced by William, which were quite crude by modern standards, Edward's Work was of very high quality.
Of how he became interested in taxidermy Edward Hart wrote 'In 1857 I shot three…. birds and afterwards mounted them, little thinking at the time that this attempt at taxidermy was to be the beginning of making my collection, which has been my fortune to accumulate principally from Hampshire'.
In addition to the twenty two cases of Edward Hart's work, Hampshire County Council Arts and Museums Service also hold examples of specimens prepared by his father, William. Although William's work is not of the quality produced by Edward, they still represent good examples of early 19th century taxidermy.
More about Edward Hart (the taxidermist of the Cream-coloured Courser)
More about taxidermy
More about Cream-coloured Coursers
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