Objects | Inventions and Firsts


The Struggle With The Quarry, 1851

Great North Museum: Hancock, Tyne and Wear

Firsts, Learning and Discovery

1800 – 1899

The Struggle With The Quarry, by John Hancock, is one of his most famous works of taxidermy.

Hancock is considered the father of modern taxidermy due to his revolutionary style.

He used the animals to create dramatic and realistic scenes. Here, Hancock has captured the life and death struggle of two birds, a falcon and a heron. This was a radical departure from traditional forms of taxidermy.

The scale and drama of this work impressed visitors to the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851.

John and his brother Albany were prominent members of the Natural History Society of Northumbria and played a key role in establishing its museum at Barras Bridge in Newcastle. After their deaths, the museum was renamed the Hancock Museum in their honour, and is today known as the Great North Museum: Hancock.

By John Hancock (1808 -1890)

To see this object, book a behind-the-scenes tour of the Resource Centre at Blandford Square, Newcastle. For more information, call the museum on (0191) 222 6765 or email info@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk

Other examples of mounts by John Hancock are on display in the galleries at the Great North Museum, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

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