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1909 Impala mount and form

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by gab, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. gab

    gab Active Member

    taken in 1909 by Kermit Roosevelt while on safari with his dad.Taxidermy was very high quality for the time

    Attached Files:

  2. gab

    gab Active Member


    Attached Files:

  3. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    What is the form? Burlap and plaster?
  4. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    What an awesome artifact to have! Cherish this hand made manikin as if it came to you personally from it's original maker. Just a little history of that incredible East African Safari of 1909 / 1910, TR was credited as to having shot 7 impala while Kermit took 5.
    All of the skins both life size and capes were shipped from East Africa to Crosby -Frisian Furrier and Taxidermy Studio in Rochester, NY.
    On pages 376 - 378 of Theodore Roosevet's timeless work, 'African Game Trails' is the story of but one impala ram taken by Kermit accompanied by a great photo of same.
    The history of Kermit's impala mount is here simple enough to ascertain the taxidermist because if it were a James L. Clark piece, the back board would proudly display the world renowned brass plate that simply read "Mounted by James L. Clark New York". That would leave the Ward Establishment as they were using the semi shoulder manikins as is pictured so nicely by GAB. Yet, it wouldn't be practical to rule out the Crosby - Frisian firm from doing a few mounts for TR just for the bragging rights so to speak.
    Below is the verbatim text of two letters from my collection written and sent by TR to two of the finest taxidermists available back then in the east coast of the USA.


    Mr. Henry A. Ward
    Wards Natural Science Establishment
    Rochester New York
    Re: East African Trophies

    My Dear Mr. Ward,

    Many thanks for your kind letter. I am very anxious to see the heads. I have no question that they will be most satisfactory. They have gone to my summer place, however, and it may be some little time before I get a glimpse at them. I have been anxious for a long time to have some specimens of your taxidermy among my heads.

    Cordially yours,


    Theodore Roosevelt


    June 2, 1911
    James L. Clark Taxidermy Studio
    Bronx, NY
    Re: East African Trophies

    My Dear Mr. Clark,

    The elephant tusk gong has come and is most satisfactory. I saw your white rhinoceros head in Hornaday's collection, and, upon my word! I think it as well mounted as the eland head you mounted for me. In other words, it is one of the two best mounted heads I have ever seen.

    Good luck to you!

    Very sincerely yours,


    Theodore Roosevelt
  5. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing!
  6. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    all tanned capes from back then, no dp
  7. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    i know it was in bad shape, but it's almost a shame to have to take it apart.
  8. gab

    gab Active Member

    Yes,I know.If he had had more provenance on it or anything written on it identifying it as Roosevelts he wouldn't have remounted it.I scored it SCI and in today's record book it would be #9 out of over 4,000 entries.
  9. PA

    PA Well-Known Member


    I am also curious of the makeup of the manikin. It almost appears to be hardware cloth covered with cellulose acetate. It obviously was created from a sculpted form as the seam is visible. Is the ear butts papier mache, and the eye filled with a green clay? Were there pounded lead ear liners, or laminated waxed paper ??
  10. gab

    gab Active Member

    lead mesh earliners.had Impala written on back board and board for skull plate.