Monday, April 25, 2011

"Hunting Trophies," Unknown Artist, British, Albumen silver print, ca. 1870

"Hunting Trophies," Unknown Artist, British, Albumen silver print, ca. 1870. Full description from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website:
Shikar, or big game hunting, was an immensely popular pastime for the ruling class in India prior to British rule. When the British came into power, elaborate hunting ceremonies were used by Indians and British alike to display their prowess and status to each other. The British influence also brought improvements in hunting technology, which spurred an increase in the capture of game. Dozens of animals were killed in a single day's hunt and the trophies decorated the halls of the princes' extravagant hunting lodges. By the late 1870s, the population of many of these rare species had been severely depleted and a government-implemented system for conservation had begun to take hold.
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art website. Found via Wunderkammer blog.

Click in image to see much larger, more detailed version.


Robin d'Arcy Shillcock said...

Dear morbid anatomist,
It is well-known what the toll of animal life was after the introduction of better rifles in the late 19th century, but what about the human cost in life? Wouldn't it be interesting to know how many beaters gave their life so that the toffs could have a grand day's bag? How many near-sighted old men shot each other, their assistants, or innocent passers-by who were out on a day's riding? How many were maimed or killed by exploding two or single bores?
Great newsletters & blog! Many thanks,

Robin d'Arcy Shillcock, Groningen, Netherlands

Unknown said...

This picture is utterly overwhelming. What a find. I'm fascinated and horrified all at once.