1599 print, curiosity cabinet of animals with crocodile on ceiling, at Paris museum of natural history
Pin It These were the encyclopedic collections in Renaissance Europe of types of objects whose categorial boundaries were yet to be defined. Sometimes rooms sometimes furnitures were used to house these collections but the meaning of the term originally describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. To be called ‘curious’ in the Elizabethan era was a great compliment, meaning you were well-travelled and well-informed about the exotic customs and effects that were discovered by the earliest naval pioneers. In the pre-Enlightenment age, a collector’s Cabinet of Curiosities would be filled with a jumble of of flora, fauna and historical artefacts – you might find a stuffed alligator, a Roman coin, a two-headed lamb, a piece of rare coral and an ostrich egg all jostling for space on one shelf. Since I like to learn about different kinds of subjects and create different types of objects I wanted to use that name as my blog title.