The Curious Tale of Gripsholm Castle’s Lion: A Taxidermy Mishap Turned Iconic – Design You Trust

The Curious Tale of Gripsholm Castle’s Lion: A Taxidermy Mishap Turned Iconic

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Welcome to a fascinating story about the Lion of Gripsholm Castle, a piece of taxidermy gone awry that can be found in Gripsholm Castle, Sweden. This lion, with its comically deformed face, has become a prime example of bad taxidermy and an object of amusement in the modern era.

h/t: vintag.es

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In 1731, the dey of Algiers presented King Frederick I of Sweden with a truly regal gift—a lion. This particular lion was one of the first of its kind in Scandinavia. During its life, it resided in a cage near Junibacken, captivating the locals with its exotic presence.

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Upon the lion’s death, it was decided that the majestic creature should be preserved through taxidermy. However, there was one major obstacle: the taxidermist and museum-keepers had never actually seen a lion before. As a result, they had no idea what the animal was supposed to look like.

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The taxidermist turned to historical artwork of lions as a reference, but this proved to be a poor substitute for seeing the real thing. Consequently, the final product was far from accurate, with the lion’s face bearing the brunt of the anatomical inaccuracies.

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Fast-forward to the 21st century, and the Lion of Gripsholm Castle has become a widely mocked piece of taxidermy. Its hilariously deformed face has made it an iconic example of the importance of accurate reference materials in the world of taxidermy.

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