1900 Walter Rothschild Zoology Collector

1900 Walter Rothschild Zoology Collector

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caricature by Spy for Vanity Fair's Men of the Day 1900. Lionel Walter Rothschild (1868 – 1937). Zoologist/collector responsible at Tring for the largest collection ever accumulated by an individual (now part of the NHM Collection). Six foot three with a booming voice, yet at the same time shy with strangers. He would often say "I have no repeats" - meaning that the variation of each specimen was enough to justify its inclusion. At its peak, Rothschild's collection included 300, 000 birds, 200, 000 eggs, 2, 250, 000 butterflies, and 30, 000 beetles, as well as thousands of specimens of mammals, reptiles, and fishes. He seldom travelled but employed many collectors abroad. Several hundred species were named 'rothschildi' for him. Riding giant tortoises and a carriage drawn by tame zebras earned a reputation as eccentric. He stands as a monument to what money and passion can acheive.

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Keywords: birds of paradise, birdwing butterflies, british museum of natural history, caricature, cartoon, collector, famous, giant tortoises, illustration, portrait, private collector, rich, rothschild, rothschili, tring, vanity fair, victorian, walter, zebra

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