Gil Macarrón et al., 2014: THE MOUNTING OF TWO BIRDS
Figure 2: Golden eagle´s documentation.
taught by Enrique Simonet.
of the body until the animal acquired the
recommended to the School (now Faculty) of
desired shape. To introduce them into narrow
Fine Arts the acquisition of the specimens from
areas, arsenic soap was applied on hanks, since
the Benedito brothers, since that institution
it acted as lubricant and facilitated the
could not provide the specimens requested by
insertion, in addition to its disinfecting function.
the faculty (see Figure 2).
In the area of the body, the Benedito brothers
As already mentioned, José Maria Benedito was
applied the soap directly on the back of the
the specialist for birds. He not only paid
skin. The use of arsenic soap in the museum
attention to the reproduction of the animal, but
has been reported by the actual preparator of
also spent a lot of time to study the habitat and
the museum, D. Luis Castelo Vicente. This
tried to represent the animals realistically, by
practice can also be confirmed by observing
including elements taken from the animal's own
other pieces of the batch purchased by the
habitat into the dioramas. The bodies were
Faculty of Fine Arts. Due to their poor
formed by a metal frame, covered with a filling
conservation state, white putty is observable in
of jute and straw and/or cotton. They were tied
the internal side of the skin, which looks quite
with ropes that gave the filling the shape of
similar to that found in the eagle (Figure 3).
tubular hanks. According to some invoices
Different types of fillers can also be seen in the
generated by the Benedito brothers during the
interior of the animals, as can the manner in
mounting of the African elephant hunted by the
which they have been worked (Figures 4, 5).
Duke of Alba (between 1923 and 1935),
Presumably, all birds of the same batch were
sculptor jute and sisal or hemp rope were used,
stuffed in a similar way and the research that is
among other components and ingredients.
being developed will contribute to determine it.
These hanks were introduced in various regions
Visual analysis reveals that although the eagle
78 Journal of Paleontological Techniques