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Estate sale find

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Kendall, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Kendall

    Kendall Active Member

    To go along with Sea Wolf's posting a while back about bone finds in unusual places, here is my story and find. About 30 years ago I was working part-time for a local taxidermist. In addition to my other taxidermy tasks, the owner would send me home with heads that needed to be cleaned for some customers. At one point a customer brought in a brown bear to be mounted as a life size and wanted the skull to go with it. So I took the head home and cleaned it. I took some photos of it because I thought that would be the closest I would ever come to having a brown bear in my possession. One month ago I was at a local estate sale that had many taxidermy mounts. There was a life-size brown bear with a skull and the taxidermists label. I asked if I could buy just the skull. The person operating the sale said yes, so I brought home the skull. I was recently going through some old photos and found the ones I took 30 years ago of that bear skull. After comparing many landmarks, missing teeth and size I am very confident that it is the same skull I cleaned so many years ago. You never know what or where you might find the next treasure. Good luck in your search.
    Kendall
     

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  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Very nice .. and some karma too. How long was that skull? What did you end up paying for it? Sometimes at these sales they don't appreciate the value of some of these things. How did you clean it? For a bear it seems fairly free of grease.
     

  3. Kendall

    Kendall Active Member

    I ended paying $100 for it. It is 13" long. I cleaned it with the technique I learned from my Mammalogy professor- simmer in an ammonia solution. In some of the photos I took back then there is a black bear skull I cleaned at the same time and it is very greasy. I have learned a lot in the past few decades.
    Kendall
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Curious about heating ammonia. Though simmering might be a bit much. I've never heated ammonia due to the issue of the fumes. Do you think it worked better when heated?
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Wow cool story
     
  6. yep, nice story. thanks for sharing. so............if you made what you paid......you broke even!
     
  7. lokireptiles

    lokireptiles Member

    511
    4
    Actually $100 30 years ago had a whole heck of a lot more buying power than it does now. If you do the calculations the bear would be 330ish in todays money
     
  8. So you actually made money!