Paul Martin wondered:
“Will we uncover any items with tales to match those of our historic venue?”
as he and the Flog It! team began their expedition to hunt down antiques at London Zoo. The answer was yes.
While there were no Lion Paw antique dining tables or hoof foot antique desks among the clawed and hoofed fauna of this historic zoological park, one adventurous lady answered Paul’s question by unveiling a pair of lethal-looking Zulu hunting spears. Antiques expert Thomas Plant came up with his own ideas about how the weapons might have made their way from the South African veldt to a scout camp in Harrow, before informing her that the craftsmanship and condition of the spears meant they would make a small killing in the auction room. They sold at just above their reserve price, saving the owner from a tricky ride home.
Paul took time out from the antique chests and Victorian dining chairs to tell Cumbria’s wildlife fans about the zoo’s history. Opened in 1828, it boasts 13 heritage buildings, many of which have proven unsuitable for their original use over the years – the gorilla enclosure is now used for lemurs and the penguin pool is empty. However, the giraffe house – the oldest building in the zoo – is used for same purpose it was originally built for.
As any antique dealer in Preston will tell you, antique mahogany pedestal desks fulfil their original purpose equally well.
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