Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Ah, the noble science of oology, useless for just about anything except Scrabble (and even then it won't net you many points). To have a collection of birds eggs these days is about one stage up from being found in possession of... well, I'll leave that to your imagination. Anyway, apparently I missed this court case back in March, but it's already having implications for natural history collections. A post on the NatSCA listserve this week alerted recipients to the availability of an historic collection of shells. The owner was selling the antique cabinet that housed the shells, but couldn't find an auctioneer who would take the collection itself for fear of possible prosecution. While I'm no great fan of the commercial market for natural history specimens, one has to wonder how many UK natural history collections will just get dumped in the future because of publicity about this prosecution.