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About This Object

The walrus has been on display at the Horniman Museum for more than a century. It most likely came from the Hudson Bay area of eastern Canada and was first seen in London in the ‘Canada’ section of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in South Kensington in 1886.
The walrus formed part of a display of animals mostly assembled by the Canadian hunter and explorer James Henry Hubbard whose exhibit was highly praised by Queen Victoria during a visit to the Exhibition.
When the Exhibition closed, Frederick Horniman bought the Walrus and other Canadian animals to display in the Horniman Museum.
Our Walrus is an unusual taxidermy specimen, it appears stretched and ‘over stuffed’ as it lacks the skin folds characteristic of a walrus in the wild. Over one hundred years ago, only a few people had ever seen a live walrus, so it is hardly surprising that ours does not look true to life. This is probably why it remains one of the most popular exhibits on display in the museum today.


Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)
Natural History

1 item (description level: whole)

Broad category
Natural History: Zoology, Mammals
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  Odobenus rosmarus
scientific name:  Odobenus rosmarus
catalogue title:  Walrus
common name:  Walrus

Place collected
Hudson Bay, Canada, North America; Americas
Additional place collected information
collected:  Hudson Bay 
Specimen form
taxidermy mount
Additional specimen form information
material: taxidermy mount (overall)

Frederick J. Horniman Collection
vendor:  Hubbard, James Henry 

Further reading
Nicholls, Henry. 2013. The Horniman walrus returns from his summer holiday. The Guardian [online edition], 19 September 2013. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 September 2013], 162, pls 96-98 (discusses)
Dillon, Brian and Warner, Marina. 2013. Curiosity: Art and the pleasures of knowing. London: Hayward Publishing, 26, p 26 (discusses; illustrates)
Miller, John and Miller, Louise, 2014. Walrus. London: Reaktion Books, (discusses; illustrates)

Related objects
Stuffed toy walrus
Slides: North Hall rewiring - Walrus
Related subjects
material:    taxidermy mount 

Record created 2007-07-31
Record last updated 2019-08-15

Collections information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.

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