Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Amazing World of Walter Potter

In the 1800's, an Englishman named Walter Potter used taxidermy to create his own magical world. His anthropomorphic animals set in enchanting, everyday scenes captivated visitors to his museum for over a century until, unfortunately, the museum was closed and the various displays were sold at auction in 2003. Today, all that remains of this magical world is photographs, which are featured in books and on the Internet.

In our politically correct society, many people today are not fans of taxidermy, However, it is hard not to be enchanted by the magical scenes and anthropomorphic animals created by Potter featuring kittens, bunnies, and an assortment of other animals, all acting as small humans. In "Rabbits' Village School" a multitude of young bunnies are hard at work on their lessons. "The Kitten's Tea and Croquet Party" depicts a warm, summer afternoon of tea and games for a group of kittens, while "The Kittens Wedding" features elaborately dressed kittens attending a formal wedding. "The Death & Burial of Cock Robin", considered on of the most beautiful of Potter's displays, feature nearly one hundred birds attending a funeral, some with small, glass tears in their eyes. "The Upper Ten" takes us to a group of squirrels engaged in a friendly game of cards while in "The Lower Five" the police are raiding an illegal game of cards in a rats den.

While it is no longer possible to see these amazing displays in person, it is still possible to view these beautiful creations through photographs. Every time I look at photographs of this enchanting world, I find some small detail which enchants and delights me, and I'm sure you will to.

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