Friday, May 8, 2009

Curiosity Cabinets....

Being a woman and a natural "gatherer and hoarder", I have always been drawn to curiosity cabinets.  Their origins trace back to the 1500's with the first collections featuring oddities from the animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms.

Google image
These early collections were precursors to science museums.

Collections evolved to contain religious artifacts, art and oddities from travel abroad.  Featured in cabinets or on table tops, these curiosities would be focal points of parlors to spark conversation with guests that visited the room.

                      Maison et Objet Paris 2008

This is where I begin to salivate! In 2008,  I attended  one of the largest european  decorative trade shows,Maison et Objet, where there is a entire section devoted to curiosities!

                                                    Maison et Objet Paris 2008

Rows of fossils and minerals on display stands along with groups of books bound with string were staples for collections.

                                                  Maison et Objet Paris 2008

                                                   Maison et Objet 2008

Corals, sponges and other marine creatures available to the trade.

Here is a great example of true curiosity cabinets!

If all of this is just clutter to you, consider the work of Andy Paiko. He offers a  modern twist on curiosity collecting.  Working with glass, he creates wonderful display domes often featuring glass coral in the stems.

Personally, I am looking for a taxidermist to replicate this "Shakespearean" mouse to cram into my already over cluttered collection! Whatever your passion, your home should invite people to touch and converse about your treasures!!

Special thanks goes to Lynne Rutter of  The Ornamentalist. She provided me with the source for the "Hamlet Mouse"( found at Paxton Gate in San Franciso). Lynne, you made me very happy!


Marie Vanesse said...

Mmmh, les cabinets de curiosité... Fascinating even now in 21th century!! Your mouse makes me think about William Wegman's certain images. Do you know his work?

Marie Vanesse said...

Check here :

Theresa Cheek said...

Bonjour Marie! Good to see you! Yes,I am familiar with William Wegman. What started the mouse hunt was a segment from the show Treasures of the Trust featuring three shadow boxes with mice in various standing positions done by taxidermists. I have always loved mice and have had several for pets!

Lynne Rutter said...

i love all this stuff. i wish i had a whole room full of special casework, oddities, and pretty things.

you know, you can get the "hamlet mouse" from paxton gate in san francisco.

Theresa Cheek said...

OMG Lynne!!!!!!!!You have made my day! I was not aware of Paxton new obsession!

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