Creatures in the Collection

The museum collection contains some weird and wonderful animal specimens. Many are from the Leverian Museum, which used to be near the current site of Blackfriars' Bridge in London. Richard Cuming was particularly fascinated with geology and natural sciences and bought many natural history items in the Leverian museum sale of 1806. An interest in collecting the natural world grew as explorers and traders brought back all kinds of objects from their travels. Although collecting natural specimens today is controversial, people like Richard Cuming did it to try and understand the world. We can imagine he and the others also wanted to show off. And, as perhaps in the case of taxidermy, some collectors enjoyed the shiver of revulsion, which is still many people's reaction to animal specimens.

Creatures in the Collection

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