How to decorate your home like a natural history museum

A living room styled like a natural history museum, with taxidermy lion, wall-mounted stag head trophy, white sofa and wall art
Get stuffed: taxidermy is making a come-back among curio collectors Credit: Getty

Looking for an unusual ornament to grace your mantelpiece? At online auction you'll find all sorts of curios and rarities, from fossils to taxidermy.

Ever wanted to curate your own mini natural history museum? Or to own a piece of Mother Earth or outer space? Well you can do both, and it is a whole lot easier than you might think.

Enhance, enlighten and educate yourself and your home by simply clicking on catawiki.com to discover the finest natural and historical objects from far and beyond.

Previously sold items include a hair of Napoleon Bonaparte, a jaw of a T-Rex and a complete skeleton of a 50,000-year-old woolly mammoth called Bart. If that’s not a dinner party conversation ice-breaker, then I don’t know what is.

The objects that can be found at auction are almost unlimited yet rare as can be, so start collecting and curating these blasts from the past now.

Taxidermy

These little animals won’t cause any allergies and are sure to stuff your wallet to the brim, as they may be dead but they can still spark up a lot of value.

Dating as far back as the 1600s, taxidermy hit its peak in Victorian times when even the Queen herself couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

Taxidermy is très à la mode. You can even find it in Vogue

More recently, the art form has seen a ravishing revival. British artist Damien Hirst kickstarted it in the 1990s with his piece Away from the Flock, a stuffed lamb presented inside a tank of formaldehyde, and once again in 2008 with a dead zebra that sold for a little over £1 million at auction.

Taxidermy is also très à la mode and, what’s more, you can even find it in Vogue. Who can forget when in 2001 the late and great Alexander McQueen sent his models down his spring/summer runway with stuffed eagles suspended over their heads.

Chic, cool and contemporary; find everything from buffalos to birds online.

Fossils

Despite what many may think, fossils are far from boring. Rare, unknown and millions of years old, these ancient objects are works of art that only enhance our knowledge of the world we walk on.

Look sharp: dinosaur fossils can spark fierce online bidding wars Credit: Catawiki

Origin, diversity and history are just a few fun things that can be analysed from old bones, skulls and teeth.

Still need convincing? Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage are avid fossil collectors – so keen, in fact, the two went to a bidding war in 2007 over a 67-million-year-old Tarbosaurus bataar skull that at the time was the largest-ever dinosaur skull to be seen at auction.

Cage came out on top with a casual bid for $270,000. Don’t worry, this hasn’t hindered Leo’s burning love for fossils: he owns numerous pieces.

Golden nuggets

No not the cereal, this is the real deal. Authentic and naturally occurring pieces of native gold are ready and waiting for you to grab online. Strike it rich, live the high life and go gold.

It’s the perfect gift as many nuggets that are up for auction have been left in their original and unique form that even an experienced jeweller cannot replicate.

A top tip would be to head Down Under, as Australian nuggets generally offer the highest and purest percentage of golden greatness.

Meteorites

To infinity and beyond: every week Catawiki has a Meteorite auction online. This means that every week you have the chance to own something that has literally come from out of this world.

Out of this world: meteorites make beautiful works of art Credit: Catawiki

What are they exactly? Solid pieces of debris that have fallen from outer space and that were originally a part of a meteorite, asteroid or comet.

No two pieces are alike, and every meteorite has been named after the place it was found, and in the case when many were found in the same location, each is given its own personalised number.

Interesting shapes, forms, angles and attributes make these meteorites the perfect sculpture that will fit nicely into your home. Shoot for the stars and discover the billion-year-old objects online.

To find a globally curated mix of vintage fashion, jewellery, furniture, art, classic cars and rarities including old vinyl records, coins and comics, visit catawiki.com