Animal mounts to be sold at the Bean Museum

Assistant curator of vertebrae animals Skip Skidmore prepares the specimen for sale.

Former denizens (at least their stuffed remains) of the Bean Life Science Museum are going on sale at the BYU surplus sale tomorrow Aug. 17, at 9 a.m. Anyone can own a bison head, Thomson’s gazelle head or a full-sized bucking nyala.

The Bean Museum is selling more than 60 of the mounts at the Ellsworth building, the same location as IT surplus sales. Photos of about 30 of the more than 60 mounts can be seen on the website.

Most of the specimens being sold Aug. 17 are head mounts, although a few life size ones are available including a couple of fighting blesboks and a full warthog.

Two of the specimens, a large bison head and warthog head mounts, will be sold to the highest bidder at an online auction that has already begun on the web site. Bidding starts at $600 and $350, respectively, and will close on Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.

Skip Skidmore, assistant curator of vertebrate animals, has been maintaining mounts for 35 years and chooses which animals will remain in the collection and which ones will be sold.

“I favor life size over shoulders, and I favor mounts with data,” Skidmore said. “If I know the year and month and who collected it, it becomes a scientifically valuable animal.”

Skidmore said the museum’s storage enables them to have a variety of options for exhibits. He also said the museums display only a percentage of what they have in their collections and that they are hesitant to remove pieces from their collection. The museum continues to accept donated collections.

Using BYU surplus to sell items is a new avenue for the Bean Museum. OIT normally has surplus sales about once a month; more often in the summer according to Daryl Mastin, manager of OIT Surplus and Rentals. They usually sell electronics and furniture. The public can be notified of the sales by subscribing to an email list via the website.

There are three other ways to purchase BYU surplus items aside from the monthly sales. “We have a storefront where we put some of the most common items. People can walk in and purchase them any time,” Mastin said. “We also have a website where they can purchase anytime. We have an eBay account. The seller is byugent. We put a lot of stuff on eBay now.”

Mastin said they always have computers, monitors, laptops, and audio-visual equipment.

“If we are able to test it, we will test it,” Mastin said. “Customers can also plug things in to try them out at their testing table. They also get some unusual items for sale. “We had a life-size animatronic Brigham Young standing at the podium for sale.”

They currently have a robot for sale on the website.

Mastin said “the animals will be the only thing open for sale,” on Aug. 17.

“We didn’t want to confuse it with the electronics because there are so many this time, so we’re doing a special sale,” Mastin said. “They can come the day of the sale and it’s first come first serve starting at 9:00.”


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