Cobra Skins for Sale


Original ad here.

How much are you willing to bet that these snake skins were a) not cobras and b) were not imported from "British India"...?

And by the way:

     Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 20, 2016
     Category: Animals | Taxidermy | Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny | 1950s

Given that India stopped being British in 1949, there's a pretty good chance that snake skins in 1955 aren't from the Raj. Although it's probably the same advert they'd been running for years.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 01/20/16 at 07:51 AM
Yuck, who wants a snake skin?
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/20/16 at 09:42 AM
Hat band, boots, belt, buckle, etc. Once I even saw some 250lbs of snake skin waddle past me in a Walmart but, I think, it was a print unless it was Ann Akonda.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/20/16 at 09:50 AM
I like the addition of the CPI data to show that the price didn't march what was advertised.
In the late 1990s there was a street vendor near my office who had a sign advertising "genuine silk ties" at three for $9. Maybe he also had cobra-skin ties.
Posted by Jim on 01/20/16 at 12:31 PM
Per some quick and dirty research, some cobras shed their skin 4 to 6 times a year. Just as American kids used to collect discarded bottles and turn them in for the refunds, I suppose some kids in India collected snake skins and sold them to buyers for the wallet/belt/shoe industry. One of those buyers figured he could make more than the usual $1.60 a pound by selling some individually to gullible American kids.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/20/16 at 06:40 PM
Sounds like a plausible economy to me, Phideaux.
Posted by Paul on 01/20/16 at 08:29 PM
Snakes only shed the tough outer layer of their skin, though, the epidermis. If you've ever seen one you'll have noticed that it's whiteish and translucent, not at all the pretty variegated pattern of snakeskin leather. Real snake leather is made of the entire skin and can only be taken off a dead snake; you can't make it from a moulting. So if these people were selling moultings - which they well might have been - they would've disappointed a lot of their customers.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/22/16 at 03:24 PM
All the snakes we ever had (no cobra's, sorry) only shedded a thin external layer that became brittle after a few days and tore easily.
Posted by GFinKS on 01/25/16 at 12:00 PM
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