|The Keartons' stuffed cow decoy|
Above are two of their photographs, showing two views of one of their inventions, a stuffed ox, (in Bevis' words)—
a hide realistically shaped over a padded frame, whose interior was just sufficiently capacious for both camera, mounted in the brisket and focusing through a hole in the hide, and photographer, bent into an excruciatingly uncomfortable posture…The stuffed ox enjoyed a brilliant but brief working life, being retired damaged at the end of the 1900 season after being blown over with Cherry [Kearton] inside.
But there's more—much more—such as a stuffed sheep, a large artificial rock, a spurious hollow tree trunk, a mask that shields the photographer's face, and a phony rubbish heap. Anyone familiar with various wartime camouflage tricks (see for example the decoy papier maché cow below, held aloft by World War I French camoufleurs), said to have originated with artists, will recognize that the Keartons' inventions anticipate those by at least a decade.
|French camoufleurs with cow decoy|