Best Taxidermist in South Africa RSA?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Ryanlo, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Ryanlo

    Ryanlo AH Veteran

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    Finally just a year out from our trip. Have gotten some local prices for mounting. The local guy does awesome work. But for the price of one vervet monkey I can get a lot mounted at the place our outfitter uses. I know they will most likely not turn out as good as the guy here.

    I am looking for a good Taxidermist in South Africa. We will be hunting out of Johannesburg. Any places to try? Outfitter uses African Artistry. Anyone use them before?


    Saving for years just to go shoot some plaines game. We were going to do all European mounts. But would be nice to get a couple done down there. Any ideas?
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Just be sure that the one you use can put you in contact with customers that have used them in the last year or so!
     
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  3. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    Don't save a few bucks and have to look at poor work for the rest of your life!!
     

  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Ambassador

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    In RSA, I'd say one of the best is LifeForm, but you'll pay for the work. They are quite a way from Johannesburg, but they'll arrange to pick up hides/horns as will most taxidermists there.
     

  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    "Best" Can't fall into that trap.

    What best do you want: Price, product, timeline, communication.
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Value for Money and you'll still get a shotgun spread of answers. Sorry.

    One suggestion to check out.
    Bull's Eye Taxidermy has done good work for a fair price.
     
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  6. Jaws

    Jaws AH Member

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    as a "local"I use New Creation Taxidermy, situated between OR Tambo & Pretoria.
    Normally only do skin tanning & bleaching of sculls for me with no complaints thus far & their prices were excellent in comparison.
    I have seen some of their shoulder mounts done for clients that looked quite decent especially a really well done buff ready for collection.
    Our house is a traditional stone built farm house, so the skins do well as rugs & shoulder mounts always looks akward against the walls while the floor space doesn't do pedestal mounts justice either.
    I'll probably invest more into mounts when the blonde's dream house is complete & I can have a man cave corner somewhere.

    Though I have to say, felines, primates & predators in general is a very difficult task to mount with the correct "expression"
    I've only seen but a handful of pieces that I could say looked realistic to resemble the animal well. And that was from Nico van Rooyen's Taxidermy, but from a good few years back. I haven't seen their recent work .
    The other Taxidermy that had good examples were just north of Pretoria, its a pity, but the person IC was an outstanding candidate to chase away prospective clients with his obnoxious attitude. I would not recommend them out of principal.

    I think I should make it my NY resolution to visit some more local taxidermy spots!

    But good luck with your search!
     
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  7. Bhfs300

    Bhfs300 AH Fanatic

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    +1

    I have the only mount I got done in SA on my wall and after four years I still can’t get over how bad it is.

    I vote for do it in the states and enjoy it for the rest of your life!
     
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  8. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    I really hate the word "best" ..but I wholeheartedly endorse ReLive Taxidermy in Port Elizabeth. Paul Smith, the owner, is still a part-time PH with Blaauwkrantz Safaris. He did EXCELLENT work for me in 2015 and several others on AH...do a search for ReLive.
     
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  9. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A bunch of us here on AH have used Paul at Relive and I don't know that there has been a single instance of dissatisfaction.

    I had 8 shoulder/pedestal/half-body mounts done and they all turned out very well.

    If I was going back to RSA I would definitely use Relive again.


    Tim
     
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  10. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    As has been said, make sure you know what "best" means to you.

    Also, make sure you know the total cost of the taxidermy. I thought I could save some money by having work done in SA, but the shipping ended up eating up all of the "savings."

    I was like you and was willing to give up some quality in order to save some money. Then it didn't happen... I could have paid the same in total for better quality here in the States. Oops... Expensive lesson...

    Now if you're going to do a bunch of full body mounts there can certainly be savings, but for typical shoulder/pedestal mounts the savings just isn't there.

    Lastly, be aware that very very often the outfitter recommended taxidermist is giving a kickback to the outfitter for the recommendation. It's simply the way business is done over there. Nothing wrong here IMO, but you need to understand this and consider it in your decision.
     

  11. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Fanatic

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    Not going to get into a conversation about south africa taxidermy because it is not any different that ANY big studio in the US, the name on the building doesn't mean sqaut. It's all about WHO mounts it. Which employee-worker or a real experienced artist ? And employees turnover is BIG studios here and in Africa is a lot. One studio I worked for long time ago went had 60 taxidermist come and go in 8 years. That makes consistency in quality a huge issue. A manager overlooking employees work to me is not any kind of quality control. Mounting every piece myself "IS". Big name means big volume and big overhead and lots of workers , that quota has to be met. Quota means they have to do so much $$ per week for the studio and it's their butt, the employees if it aint met.....been there done that and see it all the time......Your question is PERFECT . Best Taxidermist in South Africa RSA? A taxidermist is an individual not simply a studio name find the individual that your going to trust and see there work.
     

  12. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Enthusiast

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    This is my Relive experience.....

    BE34C723-577D-41DD-8630-8E90BD6A8038.jpeg 1E15A3FE-3769-4C19-86EC-06BE29356883.jpeg DC287C45-E1D5-4D98-A041-A8B7B6262BD3.jpeg C2EE57C1-0395-479C-9703-287CD181268D.jpeg
     
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  13. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    That Y incision is truly awful Aaron !
     

  14. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Enthusiast

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    Couldn't agree more! I chose Relive because of their reputation here, and also one members work that I had a chance to go visit. Honestly by the time the shipping was paid, and the custom charges, I don't think it would have cost a whole heck of a lot more to get it done here. That's also factoring in a 30% hit from CAD to USD. Live and learn I guess. I'm not saying that all work coming out of RSA is bad, just saying that Relive isn't without their faults.
     
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  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I agree. It is certainly the assumption that creates the surprises when the quality is not delivered.
     
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  16. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I’ve used Taxidermy Africa for most of my mounts, two full mounts and 9 shoulder, and have been very happy with them and their quality.

    They pick up all over Southern Africa, but are based in Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape. I believe they attend some of the shows in North America, but I don’t know which ones.

    //Gus
     

  17. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Fanatic

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    Compare quality especially on tiny trophies side by side Steinbok African Artistry website pic.....Then One of mine
    Duiker African Artistry website pic, ....then one of mine....
    Happy also has different meaning to different people.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Duiker .......


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

  18. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    So true. Hard for someone to decide what is the best for another person.

    //Gus

    Edit: Was supposed to be a reply to “Happy also has different meanings to different people” from @The Artistry of Wildlife.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2018
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  19. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Legend

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    I had the same experience with Relive Taxidermy. Paul is a very nice guy BUT who he employs are not artists by any means. PERIOD. I was recommended to him by a fellow AH member who without question receives a discount on his work with the referrals he sends. I would NEVER let any taxidermy studio is Africa mount anything. I speak as someone who has over 50 mounts in my house. BRING IT BACK! Pay the extra. You have to live with it for the rest of your life.
     

  20. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Legend

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    SIMPLY NO COMPARASION.
     
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