Legendary taxidermist Edwin Van Ingen passes away
Mysore, Mar 12 : Legendary taxidermist Edwin Joubert Van Ingen, passed away at his residence in the early hours of today.
He was 101 and a bachelor. However, he leaves behind a host of relatives in India and abroad, friends, well-wishers and staff.
Ingen, along with his brothers Botha and De Wet, were trained by their father Eugene Van Ingen whose ancestors, as Dutch traders, had migrated to Mysore during 1600s and had lived here ever since.
Earlier, many old Mysoreans, who were interested in both game conservation and hunting, would make a 'pilgrimage' now and then to the firm named Van Ingen and Van Ingen to see the work of giving 'second life' to a variety of animals which had been shot elsewhere and dispatched to be cleaned and preserved and made as life-like as possible.
In its heydays, the factory had stuffed thousands of hunted wild animals including tiger, leopard, deer, bison, elephant, lion, dogs and pigs, which are now in possession of the government, aristocrats, museums, clubs and the Mysore Palace.
With hunting being banned and strictly regulated in other parts of the world, Van Ingen and Van Ingen finally shut its doors in 1999. By then, many of the trophies found their way to the great auction houses of Christies and Sotheby's and into private collections in UK and US.
Van Ingens were tiger specialists as one of the brothers had said in an interview.
After the death of his brothers and decline in business with the introduction of laws banning the shooting of animals in this country and the regulations and introduction of 'hunting season' in other countries, Edwin Joubert Van Ingen moved to a small portion of the old Van Ingen house.
With his death, Mysore has lost a legendary Taxidermist and a lover of animals.