Saturday, April 23, 2016

Horniman bonus dinosaurs

As an addendum to my previous post, it's worth mentioning that there's some dinosaur material on permanent display at the Horniman...just not very much. Perhaps the most noteworthy dinosaur display consists of a series of very dated scale models. They're most definitely of the pre-Renaissance, cold-blooded old school, but very charming with it. Here's a selection.

Stegosaurus: lovingly detailed and boasting a rather lifelike skin texture, alongside a too-short tail and semi-sprawling forelimbs. It also looks very cross, which is quite cute. For whatever reason, the label describes this animal as being from Peterborough, a city in eastern England (maybe they had Dacentrurus in mind?). There's no word on the sculptor for any of these, unfortunately, although 'V. EDWARDS' is discernible on Steggy's base.

Apparently made by the same sculptor, this Triceratops is seemingly based on the model skeleton on display at London's NHM (note the posture and hadrosaur feet). Either the artist intended the frill to appear to be covered in keratin or cornified skin, or they were a little too keen on reproducing the look of fossil skulls. The seamless blend between the horns and the animal's skin appeared a great deal in old palaeoart, but is seldom seen anymore; modern artists prefer an obvious 'join', which probably makes more sense.

Finally we have this Scolosaurus in classic short-tailed, pancake-o-saurus guise. Not half as entertaining as the life-size models that dot dodgy dino parks around the world, but still a treat. The too-short tail with twin terminal spines was the result of a misinterpretation of the fossil material, while the sprawling posture...I dunno, it's just wrong. Beautiful paintwork, though - seemingly just a dull brown at first, it rewards closer inspection.

The museum has previously had a retro, properly Neave Parker Scelidosaurus model on display, as well as a two-a-penny Dollo-style Iguanodon, but Niroot and I can't recall seeing those. In any case, you can check them out on the museum and Dave Hone's blogs, respectively.

And really's a photo of me (by Niroot) with that big Tarbosaurus skull, why not. Gives you an idea of how big it is (I'm 1.72m tall, I believe). There'll be more tyrannosaur-related shenanigans on this blog very soon, as somebody's gone and written a book all about them...


  1. I really like that old Stegosaurus sculpture!

  2. I really like that old Stegosaurus sculpture!

  3. Me too! What it lacks in scientific accuracy it more than makes up with in skilled sculpting and charm.


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