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New Series Teaser…

After reading about the role that 19th century museums played in ensuring The Great Auk’s extinction (each museum wanted the endangered Auk to display, thus ensuring their demise) I just had to add on to the avian/mammal menagerie honoring The Great Auk, Steller’s Sea Cow, The California Grizzly Bear, and the Thylacine.

new menagerie teaser copy

I also had several requests for a Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger, so although I really wanted to branch out into the amphibian class, I just couldn’t neglect this set. I’m also experimenting with a monochromatic background on these so we will see how they turn out. This set will be sold in a set of four with options to mix and match with the original series. Also, going forward, I will be donating 10% of all sales to the Wildlife Conservation Network http://wildnet.org/

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This plate started it all!

mortaged home plate

Photo courtesy of Kristi Engle

Years ago, I gave this “God Bless our Mortgaged Home” plate to friends as a housewarming gift. In addition to the folksy style, I loved how the plate raised the importance and serious stakes of owning a mortgage. Something that needed to be either blessed, commemorated or possibly memorialized in some way. It’s certainly jokey, but also it holds

new meaning to me as we try and hold on to our house.

kristi plates in situ

Photo courtesy of Kristi Engle

In addition to the above photo, Kristi also sent this beautiful photo of her Last Menagerie series in situ.

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Nothing says FOREVER like…

Since opening The Last Menagerie shop this summer, I’ve sold several plates as wedding gifts and one set for a baby shower.  My kind of people.

The plates remain rare and conceptual art objects that are more than appropriate to mark an array of occasions.

And nothing says FOREVER like extinction.

The Last Menagerie Wood2

The Last Menagerie Pigeon Wood

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Laura Bliss on the half-remembered, half-stripped Quagga

The Last Menagerie is proud to publish the second installment of the Guest Writer Project: A Misunderstanding of Stripes by Laura Bliss. Laura is a writer and journalist living in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared onThe Atlantic, CityLab, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and beyond.

In the coming months, The Last Menagerie will feature a different writer, historian, or artist each month contributing a short piece of writing about one of the animals from the first plate series. Past contributions from LJ Moore on The Passenger Pigeon and future contributors include: Amy Blount Lay on The Dodo and Erin Chapman on The Pyrenean Ibex and The Wooly Mammoth

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From Rev JG Wood’s “Illustrated Natural History” (1853, 1874): The QUAGGA looks at first sight like a cross between the common wild ass and the zebra, as it only partially possesses the characteristic zebra-stripes, and is decorated merely upon the hind and fore-parts of the body. The streaks are not so deep as they are in the zebra, and the remainder of the body is brown, with the exception of the abdomen, legs, and part of the tail, which are whitish-grey. The Quagga lives in large herds, and is much persecuted by the natives of Southern Africa, who pursue it for the sake of its skin and its flesh, both of which are in high estimation.

color quagga

The last captive Quagga died in Amsterdam on August 12, 1883. Only one Quagga was ever photographed alive circa 1870.