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Item number: 7601

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A Preserved Common Viper Snake ‘Vipera Berus’
Discovered in Lancashire on the 16th April 1911
Ex English Private Collection

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century interest in natural history continued to flourish, the pursuit and acquisition of specimens for study and for cabinet displays remained a fashionable and popular pastime, particularly among the financial and social elite.

During this period many new popularly subscribed and attended natural history societies were formed, dedicated to the advancement and sharing of knowledge. The emergence of these societies helps to reflect the gradual progression from the earlier, ‘wonders of the natural world’, mindset to the greater appreciation and emphasis placed by a new generation, on the value of taking a more scholarly approach to collecting.

This beautifully preserved Common Viper snake specimen, ‘Vipera Berus’, also commonly referred to as an Adder, (deriving from an old English word meaning serpent), was discovered in Woodland Fell, Lancashire on 16th April 1911 and has been annotated accordingly. It is Britain’s only venomous snake and the species is deeply rooted in the ancient folklore and religion of the country.

Dimensions (approximate)

Height, 15.5cm,  Width, 5.5cm