Risk of Selling Taxidermy at Auction

Time and time again we see extremely rare Taxidermy Mounts being sold at low prices.  This Full Body Taxidermy Mount of a Markhor on Foliated Plinth; 81″h x 52″w x 25″d; which appears to be in excellent condition sold for $650.  The Auction House set the Estimate from $10,000 – $15,000 which obviously did not happen.


Often Auctions are not a good venue to sell Taxidermy. Large quantities of Taxidermy Mounts are being dumped into the market without enough and/or the right kind of exposure to the Market thus in bringing low selling prices. For example; a common selling price for a A-Grade Greater Kudu Shoulder Mount is $300 or less.


The world record Bongo was sold in a Midwestern State in the USA. This Trophy should have sold for more, in our opinion, with the correct amount of exposure to the market. In most cases a person cannot put a Mount of this kind in an auction and expect luck to bring good selling results. A Bongo is a rare African species and would be purchased by a targeted group of Buyers in most cases who are familiar with this type of high-end animal.


Some sport-hunted animals are not known to everyone. It is like trying to sell a Diamond Ring at a Tractor Auction; you are selling to the wrong crowd.  It is the job of the Auction Company to have the expertise to assemble the correct Buyer Pool to buy what they are selling.


Not All Auction Companies are bad, but a Consignor should do their Due Diligence when consigning their Taxidermy to be sold at auction. A Consignor should ask the Auction Company questions such as:


  1. How often do you sell Taxidermy and for how many years?
  2. Do you know Federal and State laws with regard to selling Taxidermy?
  3. Are you familiar with the names of common hunted animals?
  4. Do you have experience is assembling a group of buyers for specialty pieces such as African Bongo Antelope and other species hunted from on all Continents?
  5. Are you familiar with the Boone and Crockett, Safari Club International and Rowland Ward Record Books?
  6. Explain in detail how you assemble legitimate Taxidermy Buyers to the auction.
  7. Do you advertise in hunting publications, hunter’s organization publications, Taxidermy Trade publications, Museums of Natural History publications, etc.? Please provide a list.
  8. How do you advertise your auction and what is your advertising budget?
  9. Do you have a mailing list that you use to contact resellers of Taxidermy?
  10. Can a consignor place a reserve on key pieces?


It has been proven by the United States government in Court that there is a “Relevant Market” for Taxidermy. These and other questions can be asked to show if the Auction Company you wish to hire is a “Relevant Seller” in the Taxidermy Field.  A Consignor to an auction is a consumer of services provided by an Auction Company.  Consignor is paying 25 to 50 percent of gross sales of their Taxidermy Mounts to the Auction Company in commission not including other expenses.


Be an Educated Consumer of Auction House Services.

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