Friday mystery object #28

It’s Friday again, so that means it’s time for a mystery object! Any idea what this is?

I’ve recently been through the process of identifying, organising and remounting the antlers and game heads in the Horniman’s stores building (it looks really good now!). It turns out that most of the deer antlers we have belong to one species – the one pictured above in fact. Can you identify it and do you notice anything unusual about the one in the picture?

Put your answers and any questions in the comments section below. Good luck!

13 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #28

  1. I decided that it was likely to be a UK species, since you said you had a lot of them. Searching the interwebs,
    I narrowed it down to Red deer or sika deer. I’m going for Sika, because apparently the antlers of the red stick out from the head at a different angle

    The unusual thing: four tines on the left, but only three tines on the right?

    • The Horniman’s collection is actually a bit sparse when it comes to UK species – the collection was founded on the links Frederick Horniman made in the tea trade, so we have a strong representation of species from all over the world.

      Well spotted on the tines by the way – but which is the unusual side? Do they normally have three or four tines?

  2. I’ve been googling some images, and SmallCasserole’s Sike deer identification looks odd, because Sika appear to have a rougher texture (almost Roe-like) than this one.

    I’m.. ruling out a lot of deer species, but it occurs to me I have no idea how much intra species diversity I’d expect in antlers.

    • Intraspecific variability can be quite high when it comes to antlers, although the overall branching pattern tends to be maintained albeit with the occasional misshapen, missing or extra tine and varing degrees of rugosity.

    • Ah HA.

      I believe this to be a Chital (one of these), based on the two upper prongs and one lower, that appears to be low in diversity among chitals. This makes the right antler on your specimen to be fairly unusual.

      As Chitals are common on the Indian subcontinent, it also ties into the Horniman’s tea-trade origins.

  3. Ok, change of tack:

    It is a roof beam, an RSJ if I’m not mistaken, which in an old building suggests that there is a recent add-on or customisation near by. There is a phone cable, which could be a CAT5, but I’m going to go for a CW1311. Although it could be an old style 6 mm single-core electric cable.

    We also see a nice example of standard business-grade electrical cable trunking, and a nice example of a set of [blank] antlers hanging from a dado.

    [note to self…check RSS feeds sooner]

  4. I don’t what it is. It looks a bit like a red deer, but the brow tines are different. On a red deer, the brow tines are not as bendy and don’t stick out as much to the side. But if I found it in a wood I would think it was a red deer. The antlers are very big.

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