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Muff - Emperor Penguin, Stanley Taylor, circa 1913 Object Reg. No: HT 933

Emperor Penguin muff, which came with a matching stole, made from a penguin pelt brought back from the Antarctic by Australian Stanley Taylor. Stanley Gordon Roberts Taylor was Leading Fireman on the Steam Yacht Aurora and his log of the voyage covers the period October 1912-March 1913 when the Aurora, under Captain John King Davis, sailed to the Antarctic carrying 21 Husky dogs on the outward voyage and on the return bringing back members of the Australian Antarctic Exploring Expedition. Because of the closing in of the pack ice at Commonwealth Bay, they were unable to wait longer for the return of Sir Douglas Mawson to the base camp and had to leave to pick up the party which was waiting at Gausberg. As part of his duties as Ship's Fireman, Stanley Taylor was responsible for keeping an inventory of coal supplies and ensuring that enough head of steam was always available to keep the ship safe among the icebergs after all anchors had been lost. In his off-duty hours he often worked with the taxidermist and assisted him in catching and skinning the penguins.

Souveniring items from Antarctica was a common practice amongst early explorers and reflected the adventurist spirit underlying such exploration. Modern attitudes reflect more of a concern for preserving the natural heritage of Antarctica, and such souveniring is less common though not unknown.
Muff made from the skin, with feathers, of an Emperor Penguin. The skin has been padded and lined with cream satin before it was rolled to form the muff. A pocket is underneath the feathers, and there is a pleated edge of cream satin on both sides of the muff. There are also fringes of long, thin cream tassels at the top and bottom of the muff.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Audrey Porter, 2002
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 450 cm (Height), 330 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: clothing accessories, antarctic exploration, penguins
Themes this item is part of: Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914, John Henry Collison Close, Antarctic Expeditioner (1871-1949), Antarctica Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Science & Measurement Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Sir Douglas Mawson, Geologist & Explorer (1882-1958), Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: EXPLORATION
Secondary Classification: Antarctic
Tertiary Classification: clothing accessories
Maker: Stanley Taylor, Australia, 1913-1914
Expedition Leader: Sir Douglas Mawson, Australia, 1912-1913
Ship Named: circa 1913

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