James Hutchings

It would appear that James Hutchings began working as a taxidermist in Aberystwyth in the 1860s. His sons, James (Fred), George and Walter and daughter (Poppy), followed him in the trade and the firm continued until 1942. The company was one of the most prolific taxidermist firms in Britain and their work is considered to be of a very high standard. Most of their work is of common animals, particularly foxes. However, they were also known to have worked on elephants and other exotic animals. They also preserved rare birds which had been shot in Cardiganshire. The firm had shops at 9 Bridge Street, and later Corporation Street, Aberystwyth, and they were said to be filled with all sorts of strange animals including a bear holding a silver dish (possibly made for a local mansion) and a calf with two heads. On his invoices, James Hutchings is described as a 'Taxidermist and Gun Smith' and he advertised for the skins of stoats, polecats, foxes, badgers and otters for making stoles. The later cases which were used by the firm are quite distinctive, with square feet, rounded corners and gilded bars over black tape. The backs are painted to represent the sky and range in colour from blue to yellow or pink. A few cases have a small paper label with the Hutchings name, which was often stuck inside one of the front corners.


Hutchings Family taxidermist portrait.

Hutchings taxidermy shop.

We have bought major collections from museums and private collectors.

Offer your items here.

Ayre & Co does not source modern taxidermy specimens that have been killed for the purpose of taxidermy. Our modern taxidermy is mainly roadkill and catkill as these are sadly the top two threats to British wildlife. We also get animals that have died of old age, largely from zoos and falconers.

Antique pieces for us are another matter. Although some of these old specimens were hunted, we see no harm in trading them today.

Destroying them will not bring the animal back.

Taxidermy law can be complicated. We make it our business to know the laws surrounding the trade, keeping up to date with changes in current legislation so you can buy in confidence.


Buying Guide

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Historical Taxidermist Directory
Ayre & Co.
PO Box 765
The Grange
TS19 1BR
(+44) 7988698663