16 March 2011

Cabinet of Curiosities...

 After fully embracing 'World Book Day' on the 3rd March, I stumbled across a very special find...

The 'Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' by Albertus Seba. This book is a four-volume catalogue detailing magnificent specimens, ranging from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, corals, butterflies, squids, spiders and even fantastic beasts such as the hydra and dragon!

Page Extract from ' Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' Albertus Seba    

Page Extract from ' Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' Albertus Seba         

The book really inspired me to find my own collection of curiosities around Grays. Here is what i found:

From Linda Bee at G rays Mews       



  
From Linda Bee at Grays Mews

From Linda Bee at Grays Mews
From Linda Bee at Grays Mews
Page Extract from ' Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' Albertus Seba     


From Gillian Horsup at Grays Mews

From Christopher Cavey at Grays

From Christopher Cavey at Grays
From Christopher Cavey at Grays
Page Extract from ' Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' Albertus Seba     
From Ghazi Ghafoori at Grays Mews
From Ghazi Ghafoori at Grays Mews

Page Extract from ' Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' Albertus Seba     
The history behind the book....

The 'Cabinet of Curiosities' was originally a collection of objects and artefacts that evoked curiosity and wonder to the viewer, the contents of each cabinet contained both natural and man-made objects. These cabinets were also referred to as Wunderkammer which translates to 'Cabinet of Wonders'.

In many ways, the cabinets represented a world-view that valued the 'wonder' in an artefact much more than the need to analyse and classify that artefact. During the 17th Century when cabinets of curiosity reached their peak, there were not yet universal systems of scientific classification and each collection sported its own unique organisational structure.

Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato's Dell'Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet. Link from Wikipedia

If you, like us are inspired by the strange and the wonderful, you may discover your own Wonderkammer right here at Grays. We house over 200 dealers each with their own extensive collections, come and take a look!


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