Cabinets of Curiosities were encyclopaedias of physical information that were particularly popular in the 17th and 18th centuries; the cabinet was usually a room and the curiosities the culmination of individual research. Collections for the sake of collecting, they reflected the collector’s interests and recorded items yet without category at a time when myth was touching upon reality and science testing the limits of belief. In England perhaps the most famous example of such a cabinet is the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, the foundation of the British Museum.
This page represents only a small part of our vast collection of original Antique prints. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution, with details of the work itself. If you have a special request or are looking for something out of the ordinary, please do contact us.
The amateur palaeontologist and fossil shop owner Mary Anning discovered the Iichthyosaurus, the first complete fossil found in England, in 1812.
After the life painting by Jan Savery. c1655, this elegant depiction was the source for subsequent illustrations including that in Alice in Wonderland.
The Moskstraumen or Maelstom, a system of fast moving whirpools in the Lofoten archipelago Norway, first mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Pytheas (4th century BC).
Illustrated Comparative Chart of the World’s Mountains, Volcanoes and accomplished ascents.
The illusionistic circular battle panorama of Trafalgar, now lost, was invented by Henry Barker. The viewer stepped up into the centre illuminated by daylight to be given the sense of being in the midst of battle.
By the mid 1640’s Japan was closed to all foreigners except the Chinese and the Dutch and Christianity on its way to be eradicated. Buddhism would remain little known in Europe for some 300 years save for earlier commentaries.
King Outina of the Timucua consulting his magician prior to battle. Based on the 1591 engraving after Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, artist on René de Laudonnière’s 1564 expedition.
The mythical Sea Snail from the Baltic Sea was of considerable size with antlers, clawed feet, whiskers and claimed to be tasty to eat.
Flags of Nations to include flags of pirates – the Barbary Rovers and Bloody Sallee, and companies – the short lived Brandenburg West India and formidable British East India.
Communications: Conqueror of Space and Time. World’s Fair with man symbolised by a transparent head. After the industrial designer Donald Deskey.
Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger). Thylacinus cynocephalus. A pair captured near Launceston and drawn from life at the Zoological Society’s Vivarium. Extinct in the wild by 1930, the last captive died in 1936.
SOLD Tarantism, considered a form of possession from the spider’s bite, was believed to be cured with music and dancing.