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 contact email@example.com
The Serpent, symbol of the calendar, surrounds the four year-bearers -Tochtli, Cagli, Tecpatl and Acatl-, the moon phases and the symbols for the 18 months and the 52 year century.
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).
Tarantism, considered a form of possession from the spider’s bite, was believed to be cured with music and dancing.
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.
The amateur palaeontologist and fossil shop owner Mary Anning discovered the Iichthyosaurus, the first complete fossil found in England, in 1812.
The mythical Sea Snail from the Baltic Sea was of considerable size with antlers, clawed feet, whiskers and claimed to be tasty to eat.