Mandibles – A Natural History Collection

Mandibles is situated at the Woodstock Foundry and proudly call themselves South Africa’s first natural history store. Just from talking to people, I do realise that skulls and taxidermy is either something that you love or otherwise it probably creeps you out. I have always had a fascination with skulls and if, like me, you love this kind of thing this store will get you very excited. You can find them on their website or Facebook.

For those that might be wondering: all the specimen are ethically sourced.


7 thoughts on “Mandibles – A Natural History Collection

    • If the concept is about natural history, perhaps the bones should be displayed in such a way that details and are offered to inform people of the significance of each animal’s life as well as how and why it died in such a way that the remains could be collected in an ethical way. To me it feels as though the display of the house fly (image 1) comes the closest to an idea of a natural history, but then again I have never visited the store.

    • Dear Paulette,
      regarding your question, the main and most obvious difference is legality. Our specimens are all legally sourced. We are registered with the provincial nature conservation authorities and those items we sell that aren’t the remains of what would otherwise be part of the biltong or sustainable wildlife ranching industry, are sourced from registered zoos and bird breeders, where the animal has died of natural causes. Most often we are using an animals remains (horns, bones, skin), which would otherwise be wasted or discarded after it has died. A pity, cosidering one can preserve, to an extent, its former beauty.
      Regarding Graces comment: The term natural history is very broad and encompasses anything from plants to basically any living organism. We specialise in birds and mammals. Every specimen in the store is clearly labeled, with its common as well as scientific name. We have a sign in the store explaining the origin of our specimens and we are always there to help, answer questions and let people browse around, take a closer look or touch something that they previously have not had a chance to observe so close. Being a store, obviously everything is for sale, but the majority of people merely come in, ask questions, and leave knowing a little more.
      Regards, Philipp from Mandibles

      • Phillip, you’re cool and I like you because you took the time to reply. Thanks for that and for clarifying the details.

  1. Michelle, this is your best post yet in my opinion. Your photography just stepped up three notches. Great work. More….

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