Main Apothecary Alligator Discussion

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12:45:44 PM Jun 29th 2013
edited by
My thought was that, if it wasn't just one image that turned into a stereotype-meme with its origins lost to the mists of time, perhaps it's from back when explorers would bring dead crocodiles back from the Middle and Far East and sell them as mummified dragons? ...Is that even a thing that happened? Because I'm pretty sure it is, but I can't find any confirmation via a cursory Google search.

Additionally, this Wikipedia image may be a better illustration than the one currently linked at the top of the page. It's not as popular as the image of Ole Worm's cabinet, but it is (according to The Other Wiki) the first cabinet of natural history and has a and has a large alligator corpse as the centerpiece of the ceiling exhibits. It may have been passed around to accidentally become the standard for what a natural history cabinet (including alchemical nature, and thus apothecaries and wizardry) should be, a la the stereotype-meme mentioned above.
08:56:53 PM Jun 30th 2013
You're right, that is a better illustration.
07:42:44 PM Nov 26th 2012
I seem to recall another example in one of Mercedes Lackey's books, but it's been long enough since I read them that I don't remember which one. Probably something in the 500 Kingdoms series (if that's what they're called), as opposed to Valdemar or the dragon-jousters or the nineteenth-century wizards stuff...
08:27:55 PM Nov 26th 2012
Apart from the example from the 500 Kingdom series that's already on the page, you mean?
11:51:46 PM Nov 24th 2011
I seem to remember a stuffed alligator in one of the Chrestomanci books, with the twist that it turned out to be a live dragon. If I remembered the details better (or had the book on hand) I'd add it.
12:56:27 AM Nov 25th 2011
That would be when Cat first visits his tutor's workshop in Charmed Life, if anyone's got the book handy.
06:23:52 AM Nov 25th 2011
Here we are:

The third bench had signs chalked all over it and a mummified creature of some sort lying among the signs. [...] Its feet had claws like a dog's. It looked like a large lizard. But there seemed to be wings on its back. Cat was almost sure it had once been a small dragon.

No mention of alligators or crocodiles, so I'm not sure it counts.
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