In Victorian-era households on both sides of the Atlantic, it was considered to be very erudite to have a curio cabinet of insects, animals, and archaeological specimens.
The classiest of these cabinets often included a snake skeleton, a bisected nautilus shell, brightly-colored butterflies mounted either in a classical case or upon a branch (as if still alive), and Egyptian trinkets. Of course, there were many other coveted specimens and baubles, but throughout that entire period, large complete snake skeletons were considered respected additions to any curio cabinet.
Natural History of the Animal Kingdom for the Use of Young People. W. F. Kirby, 1889.