The art of taxidermy is no more than 350 years old, although the curing and tanning of skins dates from prehistory. At the beginning of the 17th century, bird specimens from India were stuffed and mounted, with wires and a perch, in Holland.

As an occupation, rudimentary taxidermy was practiced in England at the end of the 18th century. The first important taxidermy studio, Rowland Ward's, Ltd., was founded in London about 1850 and is still in existence. Another important commercial house of the time was the Maison Verreaux in Paris, which created a camel-lion display purchased in 1869 by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In 1861 Ward's Natural Science Establishment (not connected with Rowland Ward's) was founded in Rochester, N.Y., by the American taxidermist Henry Augustus Ward (1834-1906). At Ward's, modeling and casting techniques were developed that made stuffing methods obsolete.

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