Methods in the Art of Taxidermy

by Oliver Davie Published in 1900

Artificial Eyes for Animals

Artificial Eyes for Animals.-Glass eyes are manufactured in every variety of shape, color and size to suit the various animals. Plate VI will give a fair idea of the sizes, shapes, and styles commonly used. In skinning a specimen, be sure and take particular note of the color of the eye, and in ordering from your dealer, you should always give the name of the animal for which the eyes are intended, and state that you desire the sizes figured in this work. You will then receive exactly what you order. Most eyes come attached to wires, as seen in Figs. Hand K. Nos. 0 to 27, it will be observed, have a round, black pupil i the color of the iris of these is extremely variable, being carmine, yellow, straw, white, green, blue, brown, reddish-brown, and dark hazel.

Artifical Eyes

These are the kind used for birds, and they are the plainest for mammals, except the entirely black eye, which is often substituted for the colored ones, both in mammals and in birds, when the iris is of so dark a hazel or brown that it can scarcely be distinguished from black. This is the case in a large number of the smaller birds, as the Titmice, Creepers, Wrens, Warblers, Tanagers, Swallows, Finches, and many of the larger species. The plain black eye, for instance, is commonly in­serted in the Barred Owl i its proper color, however, is blue-black. The same may be said of the Barn Owl. Of the mammals, in which the plain black eye is generally used, except when the subject is albino, I may mention the Weasel, Mink, Skunk, Raccoon, all of the squirrels, Ground Hog, Gray Rabbit, Opossum, and the Black Bear. Sometimes our sensibilities are shocked upon seeing a solid black eye in a mounted deer's head. Solid black eyes, it should be understood, can be obtained in any of the sizes given, but they should never be substituted if there is a distinctly visible tint in the iris of the specimen for which they are intended.

So far as my experience goes, the most convenient glass eye for the taxidermist to use is the clear flint eye, which, with tube colors and var­nish, can be painted any color to suit the eyes of the subject in hand. In the grade with the round, black pupil, the sizes range from Nos. o to 27 in those of the clear, transparent kind, used for various mam­mals with round pupil and white corners, the sizes range from Nos. 6 to 27 elongated pupils in the clear glass have Nos. 6 to 27 in the irregular pupil, for fish, the sizes range from Nos. 6 to 24.

For any animal in which there is a preternatural whiteness of the feathers or hair, and a peculiar pinkness of the iris and pupil of the eye, the albino glass eye should, of course, be used. The albino eyes can be obtained in sizes from Nos. 1 to 17 in the Plain round style, and from Nos. 18 to 27 with white corners.

Figure A in our plate represents an eye with elongated pupil and plain iris. The sizes in this style range from 16 to 27, and the colors of iris are brown, and a very light brown suitable for deer, elk, moose, cari­bou, goat, sheep, etc. A finer quality is represented by Fig. B, elon­gated pupil, veined green, yellow, straw or brown iris. They can be had in sizes from Nos. 6 to 17, and are the best styles for cats (Fig. C). The larger ones of the same style range from Nos. 16 to 26, and are suitable for wildcat, leopard, lynx, panther, etc. An eye of the same grade (Fig. D), which has a round pupil, veined iris, hazel or brown, is for fox, dog, bear, etc. The same is made in sizes from Nos. 10 to 16, with white extending entirely around the iris, for dogs and other small quadrupeds. For fish, irregular pupils are made (Fig. E), with silver, gold, green, or bronze iris, the sizes being from Nos. 8 to 24.

The eyes with white comers, combining all the qualities of the finer grades which I have described, are considered by many taxidermists to be the best. They are shown by Figs. F and G. Nos. 10 to 18, round pupil, veined brown iris, for fox; Nos. 10 to 22, round pupil, veined hazel iris, best for dogs, bears, etc.; Nos. 15 to 18, elongated pupil, brown veined iris, for fox; Nos. 16 to 27, round and elongated pupil, veined hazel iris, for large mammals.