Doublepreps

Doublepreps are skeletal and taxidermy specimens, which reveal how skeletons, and sometimes organs, fit inside the skin. Here are some highlights of the twenty or so in the collections.

Double Preparations are inside-on-one-side, outside-on-the-other specimens, with skeletons covered on one side by their taxidermied skin.

We have almost twenty of them in our collections at the Horniman. There are quite a few on display here, with the rest in storage.

Doubleprep Dog

In storage

Doublepreps – including this specimen of a Domestic Dog which came to our collections in 1922 – reveal how an animal’s inner anatomical structure fits inside the skin.

Lateral view from left of taxidermy side of Horniman Museum object no NH.22.29

Domestic Dog

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of domestic dog.
See full collection record

Doubleprep Cat

In storage

In addition to skeletons, doublepreps occasionally show more of the animal’s anatomy, such as this Domestic Cat specimen which shows the animal’s preserved inner organs.

Lateral view from right of taxidermy side of Horniman Museum object no NH.12.57

Domestic Cat

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of Domestic Cat.
See full collection record

Doubleprep Armadillo

On display: Horniman Museum

Some doublepreps have a red wax lining which indicates they were made by Schlüter of Halle, a German firm of natural history dealers, which supplied specimens to museums and private collectors worldwide.

Lateral view from left of skeletal side of Horniman Museum object no NH.12.46

Nine-banded Armadillo

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of Nine-banded Armadillo.
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Doubleprep Porcupine

In storage

Doublepreps with a black felt-like lining are from E. Gerrards and Sons.

They were the second biggest London taxidermists, famous for their models and preparations of skeletons. There’s a possibility that the Gerrards’ specimens were adapted Schlüter originals which were sold on, although this is unconfirmed.

Lateral view from right of taxidermy side of Horniman Museum object no NH.24.13

Crested Porcupine

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of Porcupine.
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Doubleprep Hedgehog

On display: Natural History Gallery

Doublepreps – as well as other natural history specimens – were created as educational tools in the early 20th Century.

This European Hedgehog specimen, on display in our Natural History Gallery, came to our collections in 1924.

Lateral view from left of whole of Horniman Museum object no NH.24.14

European Hedgehog

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of European Hedgehog.
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Doubleprep Carp

In storage

Doublepreps are not confined to mammals, with this specimen of a Common Carp showing the fish’s skeleton in clear detail.

Lateral view from left of taxidermy side of Horniman Museum object no NH.11.51

Common Carp

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of Carp.
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Doubleprep Pigeon

In storage

They give an x-ray view of animals and species that we’re normally unable to see, such as this doubleprep of a Rock Pigeon which shows the bird’s skeleton.

Lateral view from right of taxidermy side of Horniman Museum object no NH.11.50

Rock Pigeon; Rock Dove

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of Domestic Pigeon.
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Doubleprep Tortoise

In storage

As far as we know, there are more doublepreps in our collection than in any other museum.

The collection as a whole is considered to be a highlight due to its size, uniqueness and historical interest.

Lateral view from left of taxidermy side of Horniman Museum object no NH.12.21

Yellow-footed Tortoise

Natural History

Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of South American Yellow-footed Tortoise.
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