Q: My grandfather gave my son a taxidermy frog playing a wooden saxophone. About 40 years ago, we visited a museum that had an entire frog band displayed in a glass case. I called the museum a few weeks ago and was told there is a new tenant there, a different museum, and no one there knows what happened to the frog band. When were frogs like this popular? Does mine have any value?
A: For some reason, stuffed frogs were once considered just the right thing for creating whimsical or satirical figures in various poses. They can be found playing musical instruments, singing, playing cards and other games, playing golf or other sports, and doing other human activities. A diorama of a frog circus, with stuffed frogs performing and stuffed rats as horses, is owned by the Carriage House at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Mass. It was made in 1927, was on display for several years, then was put in storage. Recently it was put back on display due to popular demand. The historical museum in Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland, features a "frog museum" with 108 stuffed frogs depicting activities of daily life in the 1850s. The collection belonged to one of Napoleon's guards. Old figures from the 1800s are worth $200 each. Newer stuffed frogs are worth about $20 each.