Twelve Days of Collections: day one

Welcome to the twelve days of Hampshire Cultural Trust collections! Over the next twelve days, we’ll be delving into the collections we care for to show you some hidden gems and some more unusual items. These selections are inspired by the classic festive song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The first day of Christmas features ‘a partridge in a pear tree’, so today we’re featuring this partridge from the Natural Sciences collection.

Red-legged Partridge

While not much is known about this particular red-legged (or Alectoris rufa) partridge, we do know quite a lot about taxidermy at Hampshire Cultural Trust. the Natural Sciences collection features many examples of taxidermy specimens, ranging from local bird and mammal species to less local creatures, such as a crocodile and even a kiwi!

Taxidermy became popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries; this list on the Hampshire Cultural Trust Collections website features several Hampshire residents who were taxidermists by trade. One such man was William Chalkley of Winchester and some of his work can be found on the ground floor of Winchester City Museum. This includes an unusual piece featuring a group of animals playing a game of cards – see if you can spot it on your next visit! Chalkley’s shop was located in The Square, a stone’s throw from the museum. The property is now the site of a clothes shop, but the outside has changed very little since Chalkley’s day. The image below shows the shop around 1903. It remained in The Square until 1966, concentrating on the fishing tackle side of the business.

The Square, Winchester, circa 1903-04
The Square, Winchester, present day

Join us tomorrow for day two of the Twelve Days of Collections!

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Hampshire Cultural Trust

From museums to galleries to arts centres, we manage and support attractions across the county, welcoming over 740,000 people each year. Our charitable purpose is changing lives through culture.
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