An eccentric shop and a taxidermist with a tale to tell. Hardly
ever attended and rarely open to the public without prior
appointment. The sign on the door says "No Photo's" and "No
Mobiles". To add to the mystery this showroom's windows are covered
with fairly small-holed security mesh, hence the picture below.
It's a conucopia of stuffed animals; a fox, a rabbit, two
pirhana's, a lion, a hippo, some monkeys, an ostrich, a few deer, a
sheep, a squirell and even the the odd stuffed remains of an
Islington residents favourite pet.
It's a little known fact that Damien Hirst sourced his world
famous skull from this shop. The most expensive piece of art by a
living artist. This iconic piece titled "For the love of God" was
reportedly inspired by Hirst's mum asking "For the love of God what
are you going to do next".
Completed in 2007, the sculpture is a platinum cast of the skull
from this shop. It was encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds
including a pear shaped pink diamond encrusted in the forehead. It
is rumoured to have cost somewhere between £8-15 million to produce
and caused the price of diamonds to rise on the world market as
Hirst was buying so many in a concentrated period.
It became notorious when it was reportedly sold for £50 million
at the height of the noughties boom, just before the financial
world went into meltdown. That sale has never been corroborated,
Hirst reportedly saying it was a cash sale and left no paper
There's an interview with Damien Hirst, shortly after it's
More background, history, reviews and artistic responses can be
found in a Wikipedia entry here.