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The Walls Have Eyes: 1908

The Walls Have Eyes: 1908

New York, 1908. "J.R. Bradley's animal trophies." Here's a look that would liven up any family room. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain. View full size.


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Dave's rhino feet

They are not being used as pedestals, those are the handles to the lids.

It is not really that creepy. It is taxidermy and a bunch of shoulder-mounts, full-mounts, F/M as rugs. It depends on the big game hunter and the time period. Early periods did have folks who indiscriminately eliminated game. The other post was correct in citing the last century of hunters as the original conservationists and proponents of game management (although I am sure the indigenous peoples thought the same). They were as often photographing as hunting.

1950's, Providence

When I was growing up, my pediatrician was on Waterman Street, near Brown University, on the East side of Providence, Rhode Island. His offices were in a converted Victorian house and his waiting room was a long, dark hallway with a very high ceiling. Moose and deer heads were stuck way up high above the chairs we'd sit on and, to this day, I can clearly see the film of dust that had settled on their eyes. The room in this photo brings me right back there. Very creepy - but also very discomfiting in that it makes me think about getting a booster shot or something potentially painful.

PETA nightmare

Seriously? A baby seal! It almost adds a surreal, comic element to the photo. It's not a rug, or furniture, or a wall decoration - it's just sitting in the middle of the floor. It's like J.R.'s final little touch to the room to make absolutely sure he horrified every single (future) PETA member! If I didn't know better, I'd say Dave photoshopped the seal in there just for kicks! That said, the taxidermist did a good job hiding all the club marks...


When you tour T.R.'s home at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, one of the stories they tell you is that Edith Roosevelt switched places with Teddy in the dining room because she was disconcerted by the moose head staring at her while she was eating. Her husband was more than happy to be reminded of his trophy.

The only room in the house without a single trophy head is Mrs. Roosevelt's sitting room. Teddy did manage to sneak in a polar bear rug, however.

An Impressive Collection

But no Wabbit!

Sigmund, what say you?

Freud would've had a field day analyzing JR Bradley's psyche.

Hunting conservationists

I don't know if it applies to this guy, but many big-game hunters were actually among the founders of the conservation movement, viz. Teddy Roosevelt. They were the ones "on the front lines," as it were, seeing firsthand the depredations of poaching and the inroads advancing modern life were making into native habitat.

Creepy indeed!

You took the words right out of my fingers. This is definitely not "responsible hunting." Not only would my daughter have nightmares after being in this room--I would, too! What was this guy thinking?

House Hunter

When we were shopping for houses we came across one like this, except it had two things this one lacks: a stuffed crow, and some tables with deer legs.

On the Wall

If Mr.Bradley enjoyed the company of his victims' heads so much, he could have had his own mounted over the fireplace as well. That said, I would like to revive my joke of September 27 about Old Baldy, General Meade's horse, who was stuffed and displayed

His head being mounted on the wall reminds me of the story about the man who graduated as a Veterinarian and then went to Taxidermy school. His office shingle read Veterinarian/Taxidermist -"Either Way- You Get Your Pet Back"

Days Long Gone I Hope

When I was growing up, a family acquaintance had a room much like this, only much bigger in both size and trophies. It was quite an attraction, but nobody dared to tell him, even then, that it was creepy. To a youngster it seemed the ultimate in conspicuous consumption, with emphasis on conspicuous.


I don't have anything against responsible hunting, but this sure looks creepy. My kids would have nightmares.


Times have really changed. I am the least PC person around but this chamber of horrors is frightening.

Foot Ashtrays?

The half-dozen rhino (elephant? hippo?) foot ashtrays on the table are especially nasty. There is one of those at the George Eastman house in Rochester. One per room is more than plenty, actually.

Hmmm... I was thinking they were ashtrays... Each seems to be filled with something sticking out the top, though. Any ideas what is in them and if they aren't ashtrays, then what?

[They are being used as pedestals to display what look like bones and teeth. - Dave]

Hide Park

Sheesh, the piano thingy. Does it turn around and roar in your face if you make a mistake whilst practicing!? There also appear to be FOUR rhino (or something?) feet on that table... and two additional ones beneath the lamp. At least they're using them all...

Can you imagine dusting in there!? It must have smelled so funky in there.

Watch Your Back!

Notice how the room seems to follow you around the room. The throw rug in the foreground appears to be a leopard seal, although it could be a rare Biting Quesadilla.

[So your rooms follow you around too? Make them stop! Make them stop! - Dave]

Best. Piano. Cover. Ever.

Topped only barely by the flattened sea turtle corpse throw rug. Or is that a walrus or sea lion?

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