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Welcome to Bargrave's travels and collection. From here you can explore locations from Bargrave's travels and browse selected items from his "Cabinets of Curiosities" by selecting Explore Travels or by selecting Explore Collection.

Chameleon


One of the most unusual objects in the collection. This dried chameleon was preserved by the ship's surgeon after it perished mid-journey back to England. It had been given to Bargrave in 1662 before he left Algiers by the "Moores, peoples of the 'Eastern provinces'". Bargrave says that "The creature was given me alive in Africa, and it liveth [not by the air, as the report goeth, but] by flies cheifly, by laying... some sugar and sweetmeats which allureth the flies to come to it. So soon as it seeth the flies... it darteth forth that toung at a great distance... pulleth the fly into her mouth, and eateth it; But one way to make it change its colours was to anger it, and put it into a passion. Then it would fetch great breaths, by which it made itself swell very much, and in its swellings out came the colours of all sorts, which changed as it was more or less provoked to anger".

Preserved chameleon

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