victorian whimsy


“For some nights I slept profoundly; but still every morning I felt the same lassitude, and a languor weighed upon me all day. I felt myself a changed girl. A strange melancholy was stealing over me, a melancholy that I would not have interrupted. Dim thoughts of death began to open, and an idea that I was slowly sinking took gentle, and, somehow, not unwelcome possession of me. If it was sad, the tone of mind which this induced was also sweet. Whatever it might be, my soul acquiesced in it.” 

― J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla


Today in Cool (?) Stuff in the MailWalter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy.  Walter Potter was a British country taxidermist whose whackdoodle scenarios of kitten weddings and rabbits in school became a renowned example of Victorian whimsy (though, uh, perhaps a bit upsetting to modern sensibilities – I didn’t post the taxidermied kittens, for which you’re no doubt thanking me right now).  

Potter died in 1918 and the collection continued on as a museum for decades – interestingly, when it was finally split up and sold off in 2003, auction house Bonhams rejected a £1 million pound bid from Damien Hirst for the entire shebang, a decision that later got them sued by the original owners who argued the bid should’ve been accepted.  Though I dunno, I can’t see how being studded with diamonds or suspended in formaldehyde could improve on this any.

– Petra