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Trees and Young Trees of different bones
April 10, 2011 2:02 PM   Subscribe

A lion taxidermied by a taxidermist who had never seen a lion. - more info here in Swedish (translation). More daft taxidermy.
posted by Artw (47 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like that last photo: "Dude, does anyone have any floss?"
posted by jamaro at 2:12 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


OH GOD. It's a living nightmare of a heraldic lion.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:12 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


uncartoony valley. reminds me of cartoon characters in real life.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:13 PM on April 10, 2011


Huh. Who knew Steve Buscemi was popular in 1731.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:14 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. And I thought the mangy old lions in the East London Museum (SA) were bad
posted by Flashman at 2:18 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"This object has been temporarily removed as we revise its facial expression, which was deemed zoologically improbable and/or terrifying to small children."

Also, I've seen a photo of some kind of mountain lion or lynx or other big cat that looked a lot like this -- it's a common image macro for "goofy/hurf-durf/HAI THAR", but I can't find it for the life of me.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:20 PM on April 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Exit, stage dead, even!
posted by Bromius at 2:24 PM on April 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm suddenly reminded of Vina, from the original Star Trek pilot.
posted by Pryde at 2:27 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where's the tadpole in a jar?
posted by Tube at 2:28 PM on April 10, 2011


Yeah, that's creepy as shit.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 2:28 PM on April 10, 2011


The taxidermist might not have seen a lion in life, but the end result has a pretty strong resemblance to the way lions tend to look in medieval manuscripts, which must be what he was drawing from.
posted by Copronymus at 2:29 PM on April 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


This elephant doesn't look so bad in the picture, but it was also taxidermied by someone who was unfamiliar with elephants. He did a pretty good job, but the skin had shrunk in transit, so when it was put on the skeleton, it came out real tight, with no wrinkles.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2011


Well if your elephant is wrinkled, you are supposed to iron it on a low setting (something like rayon) - no steam.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:54 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Albrecht Dürer created his famous rhinoceros woodcut without ever having seen a rhinoceros. It was based on a description and a brief sketch. The wikipedia article has more information, and pictures.
posted by Stove at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Similar to StickyCarpet's elephant, the walrus at the Horniman Museum was stuffed by someone who apparently had no idea it should have skin folds. It looks about to explode and I can't have the picture open for too long or I burst into hysterics.
posted by emmtee at 3:16 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


NSFW. Or anywhere else.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:33 PM on April 10, 2011


Just... jesus. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the taxidermist here, who was doing his best when put in a tight spot. But that... thing is terrifying.
posted by aparrish at 3:39 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Derp"
posted by pompomtom at 3:46 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The most awesome thing about the walrus at the Horniman, though, is the sign saying "Please do not touch the walrus".
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:47 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting touch to portray him eating a leather cowboy boot.
posted by fire&wings at 3:51 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"oh, dear, oh my - that doesn't look like you, lippy, that looks like ME"
posted by pyramid termite at 4:39 PM on April 10, 2011


I've changed my mind. If I'm ever accidentally sent back in time, I will choose this as my profession.
posted by spec80 at 4:54 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, it's a-- BWA HA HA!
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:25 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


That reminds me of the Far Side cartoon where a scary looking ghost is saying to a goofy looking ghost, "Gee Carl, we are supposed to scare them, not crack them up."
posted by jcworth at 5:35 PM on April 10, 2011


The lion was a gift, but after it died, the pelt and bones were presented to a taxidermist who had never seen a lion.

Surely the bones included the teeth; There is no reason for the big muppetesque grinning incisors.

Unless eighteenth-century Europeans were unaware that lions were cats -- and thus that lions and housecats were related -- I can see no way that this is not a hoax (albeit perhaps an eighteenth-century one).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:38 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Proof Jim Henson was reincarnated?
posted by notashroom at 6:10 PM on April 10, 2011


This is cool.
(And the Google translation honors the topic. Just as clueless as that taxidermist)
posted by Namlit at 6:27 PM on April 10, 2011


I think that it's the boxy teeth and sunken eyes that freak me out. They did know that carnivores have pointy teeth, right? Then why give the lion a set of horse chompers!?!

Auugh, I'll be holding myself and rocking in the corner now.
posted by ntartifex at 6:39 PM on April 10, 2011


That made me really sad. That poor lion.
posted by gjc at 6:43 PM on April 10, 2011


ricochet biscuit: "The lion was a gift, but after it died, the pelt and bones were presented to a taxidermist who had never seen a lion.

Surely the bones included the teeth; There is no reason for the big muppetesque grinning incisors.

Unless eighteenth-century Europeans were unaware that lions were cats -- and thus that lions and housecats were related -- I can see no way that this is not a hoax (albeit perhaps an eighteenth-century one)
"

Right there with you, ricochet biscuit. I was hoping to find the debunkery in this thread. My reasoning is identical to yours.

That said, I found the headshot *hilarious,* and dearly hope this has a long, long run. But there's no way that is a genuine 18th century facial design.
posted by mwhybark at 7:20 PM on April 10, 2011


Interesting touch to portray him eating a leather cowboy boot.

"Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes?"
posted by zippy at 9:06 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I agree about the teeth rendering the whole thing suspect, but if you look on the side of the mouth, I think it has at least one set of fangs, in addition to its square teeth.

video about the Gripsholm lion, in Swedish (lion appears at 1:10ish) Anybody able to translate?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:17 PM on April 10, 2011


Also in Gripsholm Castle:
painting of Lovisa Ulrika's court maids as hens - from this blog post about a visit to Gripsholm castle

Another blog reports the story behind the lion as: "In 1731 King Frederick the I of Sweden received a living lion as a gift from the Bey of Algiers. The poor lion lived out its days in a cage at Djurgården in Stockholm and when it finally died the hide together with some of its bones were put in storage. Some years later a taxidermist was ordered to stuff the animal and put it on display at Gripsholm castle."

If that's right, and only "some" of the bones were stored, it's possible the teeth were lost. And if the taxidermist were working years after the lion had died, that would explain why he had never seen it when it was alive in the zoo.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:32 PM on April 10, 2011


If the lion was old when she died, it's not inconceivable that she had already lost many of her teeth.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:38 PM on April 10, 2011


I can't for the life of me find that thing horrifying. It's just a cute, vegetarian, cat that wants to lick your cheek and tell you knock knock jokes.
posted by mapinduzi at 11:04 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of my favorite Weekly World News article; not Satan in an oil well, not Bat Boy, but one titled "Look how they Stuffed my Cat!".

After the old lady's cat died, she decided to have it stuffed.. However, either she or the taxidermist waited too long, so the end result well..the photo is of a ragged tom with fur that's matted and spiked, bent ears, crossed eyes, and the silliest grin. The effect was hilarious, and I've always regretted not buying that paper and clipping the photo.
posted by happyroach at 11:30 PM on April 10, 2011


I've seen a photo of some kind of mountain lion or lynx or other big cat that looked a lot like this -- it's a common image macro for "goofy/hurf-durf/HAI THAR", but I can't find it for the life of me.

Are you by any chance thinking of the much-beloved Kenny the white tiger?
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:31 PM on April 10, 2011


happyroach: Live in regret no more.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:36 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was talking to this dude who ran a shop next door to a taxidermist's. He said that the guy had about a three-year waiting list. Taxidermy is apparently a tough profession to get into and to get good at, but you can make a shitload of consistent money.
posted by breath at 1:14 AM on April 11, 2011


Not entirely unlike the dumsnälla dog Dug from PixarFilm "Up", is not it?
posted by Gordafarin at 7:39 AM on April 11, 2011


Not entirely unlike the dumsnälla dog Dug from PixarFilm "Up", is not it?
Wow, that's what that thing reminded me of! Spot on.
More snäll than dum though. More like "Hejhej, I am a happy stuffed lion, let me have a taste of your mumsiga taxidermist's hand, snälla?"
posted by Namlit at 7:53 AM on April 11, 2011


This must be a Swedish thing. The Gothenburg Museum of Natural History is an ode to poorly-taxidermied animals. The even have an old-fashioned curio cabinet. The museum was built in the Victorian era and has been preserved as a kind of museum within a museum in tribute to the weird taxidermy tableaus of yore. Many of the dioramas have animals that would never live together in the wild. It's pretty awesome. Maybe one of my favorite museums ever.

Oh yeah, they also have the Malm Whale, the only taxidermied whale in the world.
posted by Brittanie at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has anyone mentioned Wisconsin's terrifying Albino Squirrel Heaven yet? It seems that cheese does indeed give you strange dreams.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:19 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite brand of uncanny valley taxidermy* is the work of Walter Potter.

*Does it count as uncanny valley, if it's kittens and not people?
posted by Gordafarin at 8:42 AM on April 11, 2011


How come the King (who saw the lion while it was still alive) okayed this bizarre specimen?
posted by Omnomnom at 10:38 AM on April 11, 2011


Crappy Taxidermy actually is misnamed - maybe half the entries are totally awesome.
posted by Xoebe at 12:33 PM on April 11, 2011


How come the King (who saw the lion while it was still alive) okayed this bizarre specimen?


How could you say no to that face?
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:35 PM on April 11, 2011


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