This plaster of Paris model is the only surviving souvenir from the Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens.
In 1843 five young giraffes were purchased for the Zoological Gardens. They travelled from Africa to Walworth, London, where they were the first giraffes on public display in Britain. This model dipicts one of them. It was added to the collection by Henry Syer Cuming in the mid-1800s.
The discolouration of the plaster is due to the item being badly damaged during a fire at the museum in 2013. You can read about its restoration, as well as the zoo and its real giraffes, in our blog.
You can see more images and information about this object on our website.