The presence of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in the Royal Cabinet illustrates the relevance of the animals from America and Philippines among royal zoological collections during the eighteenth century. This specimen was a gift from the Governor of Philippines to the King Carlos III, who had special predilection for elephants.

This is certainly one of the most appreciated pieces of the Museum, as it is one of the oldest naturalized species known. The work was done by the taxidermist Juan Bautista Brú, who attached the skin on a structure made by the sculptors Roberto and Pedro Michel of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. The skeleton was mounted separately at the request of the King, and it is currently exhibited next to the naturalized elephant.


  • Title: Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Skull.
  • Date: 1777
  • Type: Articulated skeletons
  • Scientific name: Elephas maximus
  • Draftsmen, Taxidermist: Juan Bautista Brú

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