Walter Potter (2 July 1835 – 21 May 1918) was an English taxidermist noted for his anthropomorphic dioramas featuring mounted animals mimicking human life, which he displayed at his museum in Bramber, Sussex, England. The exhibition was a well-known and popular example of “Victorian whimsy” for many years, even after Potter’s death; however enthusiasm for such entertainments waned in the twentieth century, and his collection was finally dispersed in 2003.
Amongst his scenes were “a rats’ den being raided by the local police rats … [a] village school … featuring 48 little rabbits busy writing on tiny slates, while the Kittens’ Tea Party displayed feline etiquette and a game of croquet. A guinea pigs’ cricket match was in progress, and 20 kittens attended a wedding, wearing little morning suits or brocade dresses, with a feline vicar in white surplice.” Potter’s attention to detail in these scenes has been noted, to the extent that “The kittens even wear frilly knickers under their formal attire!” Apart from the simulations of human situations, he had also added examples of bizarrely deformed animals such as two-headed lambs and four-legged chickens. Potter’s collection, billed as “Mr Potter’s Museum of Curiosities” was to build into a “world-famous example of Victorian whimsy”, with special coach trips from Brighton being arranged; and the village and Potter’s museum were so popular that an extension was built to the platform at Bramber railway station.
The Vicountess and the Gameskeeper||Knox and Mina||Victorian AU||Closed
Mina Elisabeth DuPont was the daughter of a viscount. The only child, in fact, and she hated it. The girl believed that if she had other siblings, her father wouldn’t try to force her to marry for status and money. Everyday was a battle between the Viscount and his dark haired daughter and everyday, she’d flee to the stables, taking her horse and running.
The junior gameskeeper, Knox, was her favorite and she always requested him to care for her horse. He was quiet, but sweet, and loved the animals. It seemed to Mina that he knew how to speak their language. Like magic.
It was a warm spring day and Mina was storming out of her house and towards the stables once more, nearly trembling in fury. Once again, she had to have tea with a duke (not his son, an actual duke who was nearly twice her age and rather paunchy) and listen to all of his accomplishments and deeds and how he could provide her with anything she wanted.
Except for love.
She was so wrapped up in her fury that she failed to watch where she was storming off until she ran into a solid object. Frowning, she looked up, swiftly pushing away.
“Mr. Caulfield. Good afternoon.” she said, smoothing her skirt. “I trust Quixote is doing well?
Quixote was her stallion, a purebred with a rich brown-red coat and a black mane. She’d had him since he was a foal and she loved him dearly. Biting her lip slightly, she looked up at Knox. “I know it’s rather late, but I’d like to ride. Prepare him for me?”