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Sculptures by Phyllis Bone

Quadrupeds, birds, reptiles and fishes

Quadrupeds and Birds

Quadrupeds and birds are to be preserved by taking off their skins, which may be easily done, by making an incision in a straight line, from the vent to the throat, and removing the skin by means of a blunt knife. The skull and bones of the legs and feet are to be left. The brain, eyes, and tongue, ought also to be extracted. The skin, in order that it may be preserved from decay, should be also rubbed on the outside with some one of the following compositions:

  • 1st, tanners' bark well dried and pounded, one part; burnt alum, one part; and in a hot climate one part of sulphur; to be well mixed together.

  • 2nd, tanners' bark well dried and pounded, one part; tobacco, perfectly dried, one part; burnt alum, one part: add to every ounce of these ingredients one ounce of camphor, and half an ounce of sulphur. (N.B. No sublimate or arsenic ought to be put on the skins, as both substances destroy their texture.)

These compositions to be kept for use in well corked bottles or jars. Skins, when thus prepared, and perfectly dry, must be packed carefully in boxes, the lids of which ought to be pasted up, and in the paste used in fixing the paper, a little corrosive sublimate must be put, which prevent insects from eating through the paper.

Reptiles and Fishes.

Reptiles and fishes are best preserved in spirit of wine, rum, or whisky some of which must be injected in the stomach, through the mouth, and into the other intestines through the anus Before putting them into bottles, jars, or barrels, they ought to be washed clean of slimy matter. If long kept in spirits before they are sent, the spirits should be changed two or three times. The jars or bottles ought to be closed by means of sheet-lead and bladders. The larger reptiles, as crocodiles, and the larger fishes, may be preserved in the same manner as quadrupeds and birds.