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Nature volume 88, pages 426427 (25 January 1912) | Download Citation



IN the second part of vol. ix. of the Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society, Mr. J. H. Gurney records what is known with regard to the history of the stuffed specimen and egg of the great auk in the Norwich Museum. The egg, which is noteworthy on account of the well-preserved colouring of the markings, was presented to the museum in 1910 by Mr. James Reeve on his retirement from the curatorship. It was bought by Mr. Reeve from Mr. J. H. Walter, by whose father it was purchased about 1850 from Dr. Pitman. Beyond this its history cannot be definitely traced, although the suggestion has been made that it originally came from the Hamburg dealer J. G. Brandt. The stuffed bird was presented to the museum in 1873 by Mrs. E. P. Clarke, daughter of Mr. Edward Lombe, of Melton, near Norwich, to whom it previously belonged. Mr. Lombe bought it from Benjamin Leadbeater, the taxidermist, of Brewer Street, Golden Square, W.C., some time previous to 1822; but here its history ends. In spite of having probably been stuffed about seventy years ago, the plumage is still in fine condition.

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