Taxidermied Canary

Fine-feathered friend

This canary’s name is Nicodemus. He belonged to an Illinois woman in the 19th century. Nicodemus was free from his cage and sitting on a window sash one day when someone threw open the sash and smashed him. His owner was so distraught that she had him stuffed and mounted, and he sat on display in the family parlor for the next several decades.

While unusual in modern homes, specimen mounts were not uncommon in 19th century parlors. Victorian Americans had a strong fascination with nature and loved to display examples of the natural world in their homes. Taxidermy was seen as a genteel hobby, and displaying mounts was a sign of education and intellectual curiosity.

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