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I think these would make some EXCELLENT border prints!! (WARNING: taxidermy!) 
6th-Feb-2014 05:37 am
...and maybe some of the ones we've seen recently have been influenced by them??

Kitten Tea Party

Has anyone seen the bizarre taxidermy works of Walter Potter from the mid-19th-century??

You can glimpse them here:

Anthropomorphic scenes include:

- Guinea Pigs' Cricket match
- Kitten's Tea & Croquet Party
- Squirrel's Club
- Rabbits' Village School
- The Kitten Wedding

I feel like if you just add a "Dreamy," "Sweet," or "Royal" in front of most of these, they'd be hits for sure.

**EDIT: And for those of you concerned with how the animals were obtained/animal cruelty, lucky for you orangeaddiction did some research:

"Potter's intention had been to create an amusing animal spectacle and his museum's many visitors over the years have accepted the collection in this spirit. However, latterly, to deflect increasingly regular complaints of animal cruelty, the museum found it necessary to display a sign saying that none of the animals had been killed specially and, anyway, they were all more than 100 years old."

(Taken from: )

6th-Feb-2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
Nightmare fuel .... D:
6th-Feb-2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
I actually saw this collection when it was at the Jamaica Inn, on a family trip to Cornwall as a small child. I think I was too young to be creeped out by it, because I didn't really think 'oh wow all these animals are dead and someone stuffed them kinda badly in order to mimic human posture, so they look strange and unlifelike' I just accepted their existence. Does anyone else find that kids are good at not questioning bizarre things too much? I remember the 'who killed cock robin' exhibit quite clearly, because I had recently learned the poem, and also the school scene. I think it's a shame the collection was split up and sold, because it was clearly such an a passion for the guy that made them.

Really not sure about making prints based on them though! Presumably drawing a print based on them would remove a lot of macabre factor simply by not being so oddly proportioned and positioned... might be best not to tell people that these were the inspiration though!
6th-Feb-2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
i love this to death
7th-Feb-2014 01:19 pm (UTC)
me, too! i especially like that it's sweet and cute...and only macabre after the fact - when you actually realize those were once living animals. i wish there was a print that could be that subtle :"D
6th-Feb-2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I've seen a lot of his work in b&w photos, but never in color! Thanks for sharing! These definitely look like prints IW or JetJ might make.
6th-Feb-2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
These are so, so cute! (Except the deformed animals. They make me sad.)
I think a kitty wedding would make a great print!
Bunnies at school, too.
6th-Feb-2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
I would wear the beejeezus out of prints with these! They'd be the perfect prints for a creepy OTT classic look or a gothicxclassic mix <3
6th-Feb-2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
This creeps me out so bad. Taxidermy as a whole creeps me out. I wouldn't wear this on a dress. D:
6th-Feb-2014 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ew! I find taxidermy REALLY creepy. I think it would be ok if those scenes were on dresses, but not of taxidermied animals, just regular cute ones like the brands put out...
7th-Feb-2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Haha, this was exactly my reaction; I was happily scrolling through EGL and then I saw this and was like "...WHAT THE FLYING MANA IS THAT?!". It's safe to say I had a mini cardiac arrest! Definitely agree that the overall aesthetic is quite cute, but to include taxidermy on a dresses print? Nope. So creepy!
6th-Feb-2014 08:46 pm (UTC)
I actually find the anthropomorphic taxidermy to be really cute! It doesn't look that bizarre to me and I think he managed to make those scenes look pretty natural despite the fact that they're little furry mammals.
7th-Feb-2014 01:29 pm (UTC)

i'm not saying the prints should feature taxidermy...i'm just saying the scenes he created were very imaginative and the themes would do well in lolita...

6th-Feb-2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
Dead kittens. that's so lolita I can't even stand it.
I'm sorry but this is horrible. This is genuinely distressing to look at and you should at the very least show some consideration and put it under a cut.
7th-Feb-2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
how would one even know it was taxidermy unless it was expressly stated? it could have been plush stuffed animals for all anyone knew.

the lolita aesthetic isn't DEAD kittens, just kittens having a tea party or getting married, etc.

apparently i was way off the mark in thinking that was obvious...

6th-Feb-2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
Please put this under a cut with a content warning asap or it will be deleted. While I can appreciate the skill of the taxidermist and I'm fine with this particular artist's work, some people are understandably more upset by it than others. This is an interesting topic and I would not want to see it deleted, but I also do not want people being so upset by this they just avoid going to the EGL mainpage.

Edited at 2014-02-06 09:18 pm (UTC)
7th-Feb-2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
any advice on what to put for the warning? i don't really want to say "dead kittens" or anything that will be just as bad as the picture...

6th-Feb-2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
I don't mind taxidermy, but that is some REALLY TERRIBLE taxidermy. I also don't like that it's dead kittens. But, the idea of a print with kittens around a dinner table sounds cute. As long as it's not a photograph of this horrible excuse for taxidermy.
7th-Feb-2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
Kittens around a table has been done in the "Cat Tea Party" print by Angelic Pretty. And way more tasteful than this..
6th-Feb-2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
Creepy......... conceptually cute. A bit torn honestly.
7th-Feb-2014 12:00 am (UTC)
Honestly what I find most interesting about this post will be to see if this becomes a epic battle between storming vegans combating against the white knights clad in special snowflake armor who like this just because others don't.
Of course I may have been playing a little too many RPG's lately...
7th-Feb-2014 12:03 am (UTC)
+1,000,000 this!
7th-Feb-2014 12:30 am (UTC)
I loathe taxidermy in its entirety. If these basic concepts were taken and illustrated to depict LIVING animals acting out little fantasy scenes, that's a different story, but I have absolutely no interest in a print featuring stuffed carcasses playing out scenes meant to imitate life.
7th-Feb-2014 02:23 am (UTC)
When I read this post I understood it as meaning that the concepts of this man's taxidermy (animals doing human things) could be applied to lolita prints as well. Which I think I've seen before? I'm pretty sure OP didn't mean it literally as taxidermy prints. That aside, I find it interesting that apparently Walter Potter's works were an example of "Victorian whimsy" and lolita clothes is partially inspired by Victorian fashions, and is very whimsical indeed. Naturally, the concepts behind his anthropomorphic taxidermy make sense in a lolita border print.
7th-Feb-2014 02:28 am (UTC)
Have you seen Jill Barklem's Mice of Brambly Hedge?
Her books satisfy my love of tiny things and mice wearing lovely hats. A Brambly Hedge print would be AMAZING :o
7th-Feb-2014 08:22 am (UTC)
I agree! I'd completely forgotten about this until you brought it up - I have a couple of knick-knack tins with some of her illustrations on them that I was given as a child.
7th-Feb-2014 04:09 am (UTC)
But why are none of you even more creeped out that he "coincidentally" has so many kittens in the same breed/fur pattern/color.

7th-Feb-2014 08:34 am (UTC)
I was but I didn't want to say anything! Did he actually go and kill them so he could do that? it's one thing if they died naturally but otherwise that is just sick...
7th-Feb-2014 04:16 am (UTC)
That really looks similar to cat's tea party! I would love a print influenced by the squirrel scene. It's surprising there aren't many classic squirrel prints. As for taxidermy, I do like it but I'm unsure about the older stuff. It seems nowadays that a lot of taxidermy artists are animal lovers who use animals that have died of natural causes.
7th-Feb-2014 12:12 pm (UTC)
How can this be macabre? I find it beautiful. Sure taxidermy is an eccentric thing, but his whimsical imagination immortalises these animals with love and care :) (Don't ask me on the welfare of the living animals he had back then, I haven't a clue if he bred them for some cutesy taxidermy thing. I just want to assume he found the animals dead off the woods or something.)

Not into border prints, but I'm not surprised if brands find inspiration from them :P

Edited at 2014-02-07 12:16 pm (UTC)
7th-Feb-2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
I think the concept is cute, like the Cat's Tea Party print, but thinking about the little cute kittens that he most likely killed for this purpose creeps me out very very much. But if you think about it, there are many prints out there which feature cats, squirrels or teddys having tea partys and picnics.
7th-Feb-2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! That is so cool. I love taxidermy. Might come from my job at a museum where I handled a lot of it.Those would make very cute prints. I'm not sure why people are screaming "TAXIDERMY PRINTS EW!" when it would only be prints inspired by taxidermy.
7th-Feb-2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
8th-Feb-2014 12:48 am (UTC)
They are so cute these scenes with "dead" kittens, even if this sorta creep me a little i find this concept really unique. I loved also the bunny school.. aww so creeply cute! I only hope the animals weren't killed purposedely for doing these scenes, i prefer to think they were randomly found dead around the streets or other places, giving them again a immortal "life" in form of art!
8th-Feb-2014 02:47 am (UTC)
Super-creepy for a hardcore cat fan like me, but oddly sweet and perfectly creepy-Lolita. I admit I'd love a border print of the cats' tea party if it were made to look more like a watercolor/oil painting and less like taxidermy, though that would miss the point. ::glances over at kittycat to make sure he's still alive and healthy::
8th-Feb-2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
Well actually, I think OP's point was that it wouldn't be a "taxidermy print" but prints with scenes similar to the taxidermy, so the watercolour/oil painting style wouldn't be missing the point.
8th-Feb-2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
Okay, as someone who has a collection of articulated skeletons on her fireplace (all died natural deaths and were assembled by research facilities for educational purposes before being resold) and two taxidermi ducklings (same as above plus they are so cute and fluffy) I would fight tooth and nail for a print like this! Its the perfect mixture of creepy, cute, and kitschy. As long as the animals dies of natural causes I think taxidermy can be quite beautiful.

In other words, I would love this to death (literally)!!!! XD

And even if the print doesn't feature taxidermy, scenes *like* these would be so cute and fit the lolita aesthetic perfectly!

Edited at 2014-02-08 09:44 pm (UTC)
11th-Feb-2014 07:20 am (UTC)
totally this!!!!

one of the above comments said something about giving the animals an "immortal life" - as long as the animal died of natural causes, i'd have to agree!!
9th-Feb-2014 08:54 pm (UTC)
I think it's cute despite being a bit creepy.
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