Walter Potter was a taxidermist who began his collection of taxidermy in 1861. His collection expanded to such a degree and attracted so much interest that he opened his Museum of Curiosities in Bramber, Sussex, where it grew to include minerals, antiquities and travel souvenirs. On his death the museum passed to his daughter and subsequently to his grandson. The museum was later moved to Arundel where it remained for 15 years; the contents were sold last year.
Cf. S. D'Auria et al, Mummies and Magic, The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1988, pp. 234-235, no. 192: "Crocodiles, which were numerous in Nile waters, were from very early times both feared for their ferocity and revered: they were associated with the [water and fertility] god Sobek, who had major cult centres [with cemeteries] in the Fayum and at Kom Ombo ... Diodorus Siculus relates that Menes, the first king of Egypt, established the city of Crocodilopolis in the Fayum after having been pursued by his own hunting dogs to Lake Moeris, where he miraculously was rescued by a crocodile, which ferried him to the other side".
A full report on the crocodile by Joyce M. Filer and computed tomography scans accompany this lot.