Taxidermy mount of a Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

Taxidermy mount of a Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

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, relatively few Europeans 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.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk