Washing machine repairer, Paddy Devlin, took a glass-cased, stuffed dog along to the Antiques Roadshow when it recently visited Hillsborough Castle near his hometown of Lisburn in Northern Ireland.
“Ooh”, purred the antiques specialist, Elaine Binning. “This is an exceptional and rare taxidermy Chihuahua mounted by the celebrated Newcastle-upon-Tyne taxidermist, John Hancock. Hancock exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London and is considered the father of modern taxidermy. He was much celebrated during the Victorian era, securing commissions from the Duke of Westminster and the Duke of Portland for their collections and many private orders too. Do you have any idea what the little dog would fetch if it were in good condition?”
Paddy leant back to better focus on Elaine’s face, stared at her for a moment and curtly replied “Sticks!”