Sundial Conference – The Horniman Museum

In the afternoon we took 2 coaches to the Horniman Museum.  Mr Horniman got very wealthy in the tea trade, and started collecting all kinds of stuff as they did in those days.  The house and grounds have a lot of sundials, but lets look at other things.  When I was a lad mum bought me a book of photos of strange animals, and possibly the first in it was the proboscis monkey.  First spotted by explorers sailing past mangrove swamp, they were initially thought to be some sort of primitive human.

A proboscis monkey at the Horniman Museum

A proboscis monkey at the Horniman Museum

The local Malays had it more accurate – they named their monkey the Dutchman, because they thought the big nose and fat belly made them very similar to the Dutch colonisers of Borneo.

Several years ago, in a glass case in a museum in Wakefield I saw a small bird with a unicorn-like single horn.  It was stuffed in this manner because it was thought that the bird could inflate its cockscomb to attract a mate – but that was nonsense.  The one in the Horniman Museum is more accurately stuffed and mounted.

The Venezuelan Bell Bird at the Horniman Museum

The Venezuelan Bell Bird at the Horniman Museum

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