Category: Taxidermy - Antique
Vintage Taxidermy, Cased Albino Pheasant.
A well prepared Albino Pheasant mounted in a naturalistic setting in an ebonised glazed display case by Rowland Ward. There is a paper trade label on the inside of the case 'Rowland Ward & Co., Naturalists, Zoological Studios, 166 Piccadilly, Opposite Old Bond Street'.
This strictly is not an albino pheasant but more likely a leucistic pheasant, because it does not have pink eyes, it has a genetic mutation causing loss of normal pigment. Originally gamekeepers would release a white pheasant in to certain drive, making it easier for them to keep track of where 'their' birds go after release. Because of this the keeper did not want his marker birds shoot during a drive and you would get a fine if you shot one. Now a day's a lot of shoots use the white bird fine for charity.
Rowland Ward (1848 – 1912) was the founder of the world-renowned taxidermy firm 'Rowland Ward Ltd'. They were located in Piccadilly and specialized in big game trophies, but they took on all aspects of taxidermy. Rowland learned his craft from his father, Henry, who was also a well-known taxidermist in his day, as did his brother Edwin. Rowland started out on his own in about 1872 at premises in Harley Street trading as 'J Rowland Ward', his real name was actually James Rowland Ward. A few years later he moved from Harley Street (although he retained these premises until his death) to Piccadilly and traded under the name 'Ward & Co. Ltd'. In 1898 the business was again renamed and became 'Rowland Ward Ltd.', at which it remained.