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Auction Highlights

Boxing Badger Cubs by Peter Spicer

Boxing Badger Cubs - punch three times above their guide price

Boxing Badger Cubs by Peter Spicer

photo credit: Tennants

Boxing Badger Cubs by Peter Spicer fetch £14,000 - three times their guide price

Boxing Badger Cubs by Peter Spicer

Working from his landmark shop in Leamington Spa during the late Victorian and the Edwardian era, Peter Spicer consistently produced cases of the highest quality admired for their naturalistic poses and settings.

The only Peter Spicer cases that show animals posed in human activities and imbued with human characteristics are a mount made as a tribute to Walter Potter’s famous tableau The Death of Cock Robin and this pair of pugilistic badger cubs.

Purchased by the vendor at auction in the 1970s for £21, the 2ft 7in (78cm) case depicts the two (now slightly faded) boxing badger cubs going glove-to-glove against the backdrop of grasses, bracken and a finely painted woodland scene.

Spicer’s trademark, a large pebble carrying a painted signature, appears in the foreground to the floor of the case.

Anthropomorphic taxidermy – the macabre 19th century craze that was popular with Queen Victoria herself – has a narrow but dedicated 21st century collecting base, according to The Antiques Trade Gazette

Tennant’s description of the case in the auction:

Boxing Badger Cubs by Peter Spicer both stood upon hind legs with fitted boxing gloves, mounted upon painted faux groundwork, amidst a natural woodland setting of ferns, tall dry grasses, moss and fauna, a wonderful watercolour painted woodland scene to the back board, enclosed within a typical ebonised three-glass table display case, 78.5cm by 37.5cm by 63.5cm.


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