This magnificent and rare early taxidermy specimen in its purpose-built glazed case and signed label showing it as the work of a 'Joseph Vulpinus' is said to have once been housed in the renowned menagerie of the Villa Arconati, Lombardy.
One of the Villa di Delizia, the Villa Arconati was perhaps the most important and well-known of aristocratic residences in the Lombardy region during the settecento. Situated in Bollate in the vicinity of Castellazzo it was nicknamed "Little Versailles" because of its ornate landscaped gardens conceived in the 17th Century French taste.
The villa was inhabited by Galleazzeo Arconati Visconti, an avid collector, who at one time owned Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus; the Roman statue of Pompey the Great and the sculptures from the mausoleum of Gaston de Foiz, carved by Bambaia.
In addition the villa had an aviary and menagerie within its extensive grounds.
Following in the footsteps of the Visconti Arconati, Allesandro Orsi created his own wonderful menagerie within the walls of the Villa Orsi in Azzate - his 'stanza delle meraviglie' illustrated his enduring fascination for learning obtained by acute observation of nature.