Teals are small dabbling ducks and females are mottled brown with both males and females showing bright green wing patches in flight. They are thinly distributed as a breeding species with a preference for northern moors and mires. In winter birds congregate in low-lying wetlands in the south and west of the UK.
Robert Duncan (1837-1909) of Pilgrim Street, Newcastle specialised in immaculate taxidermy, using a primitive method dating from 18th century practitioners in France. Despite this, his birds are beautifully precise, presented in a plain scientific museum box display, lacking in vegetation (akin to J.Cullingford’s) with no decoration to distract from the specimens. Unusually, he normally signed and dated his cases, like an artist, rather than attach a trade label, and dated cases have been seen from the early 1860s through to the Edwardian period. Few taxidermists had time to shoot their own specimens, but Duncan was know to have both collected and mounted his specimens. John Hancock refers to him in a letter in 1880 as: ‘A good taxidemist, and his father was a good bird stuffer too’.
A beautiful immaculately pure piece signed by one of the best taxidermists England has seen.