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.
View of an equestrian performance at Astley’s Amphitheatre:. Former cavalryman Philip Astley is considered the father of the modern circus with his invention of the circus ring at his riding school in 1768.
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 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).
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.
Mount Tarawera: Spectacular depiction from Waitangi at Lake Tarawera. of the catastrophic eruption in 1886.
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.
Communications: Conqueror of Space and Time. World’s Fair with man symbolised by a transparent head. After the industrial designer Donald Deskey.
Shooting Flying: The first mention of shooting flying birds rather than perched birds is by Blome. The new fashion probably began with the return of Charles II from exile.
Common Marmoset with snail and pink dog rose. Owned by the mid-wife Sidney Cannon who delivered George III and was renowned as an avid collector of curiosities; much of her collection was bought by Horace Walpole.
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.
The amateur palaeontologist and fossil shop owner Mary Anning discovered the Iichthyosaurus, the first complete fossil found in England, in 1812.