Who are we and what do we do?
We are Emma and Mike Raphael the only professional historical falconers in the UK. We are not based at or affiliated to a public bird of prey centre; we are a privately based specialist mobile falconry business. We specialise in the recreation, performance and interpretation of period falconry in authentic, live action style and can present English falconry from all relevant periods during the last millennia.
With passion and imagination we reveal the social importance of hunting with birds in history and show how falconry has shaped our national heritage and the countryside in which we all live. We are proudly reputed for our beautiful birds, fabulous quality costumes, captivating commentary and a serious professional shine that you would expect from seasoned performers.
Our work includes:-
Stunning arena displays and period exhibition tents for historical events.
Lively indoor presentations and workshops for museums and academic institutions.
Live scenes for Historical TV documentaries and recreations for still media.
School visits, lectures and consultancy.
Corporate entertainment days and group training sessions.
MORE DETAILS ABOUT EACH OF OUR SERVICES CAN BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE.
So what’s special about Victorian Falconry?
The 19th Century was a period of falconry revival as the last few remaining falconers made great efforts to rescue their ancient sport from the advancement of game shooting. Falconry was re-born as a private club sport accessible only to gentlemen of title and means, supported and financed by lords, landowners and foreign princes.
Posh ladies and gents would enjoy hawking trips and hunting picnics on the Salisbury Plains and the Scottish Moors accompanied by professional falconers and other hunt servants.
Most falconry enthusiasts in this period were eccentric characters and it is they whom we focus upon in our recreations; the poor Indian Prince favoured by Queen Victoria, the boxing champion who defended his hawks to the extreme, the Lord who introduced the Little Owl and the Duke who first used falconry for pest control.
This was the age of enlightenment when Charles Darwin made staggering discoveries about the evolution of birds and their mass extinction too. It is in the C19th that we lost several native birds of prey and when falconry was forced to adapt in order to survive.
Victorian is one of our most enjoyable periods as there is so much material to use and we find that visitors are more surprised and delighted by our C19th displays than any other period. It is perfectly suited to country houses and rural estates that have a history of game shooting and hunting. Our favourite venue Audley End House actually employed a falconer at the turn of the century – what about your venue?
PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK VICTORIAN!