Skulls, butterflies, hunting trophies, ancient Egyptian artifacts, the alleged skeletons of mythological creatures and many other mysterious oddities fill the shelves of cabinets of curiosities.
A centuries old tradition that developed in Europe during the Renaissance, the curiosity cabinet is again in fashion.
Shops, restaurants and private residences echo these cabinets in their interior design, either by making use of the eclectic vintage objects commonly featured in such collections or by including the fully stocked cabinets themselves.
For many, it seems, the smooth surfaces of modern design have lost their allure.
An article in the New York Times, titled "the New Antiquarians," describes a current trend in interior design that embraces a "new vintage" look.
This style makes use of an eclectic combination of objects: taxidermy, mounted antlers, ancestral portraits, old leather books and cabinets filled with collections.
You've seen this style of decor invade restaurants, bars and hotels.
It's featured in magazines like GQ and blogs like the "A Continuous Lean."Aligned with this popular trend, Cabinets of Curiosities showcases exceptional collections in homes and museums, with more than 180 photographs, while also explaining the history behind the tradition, the best known cabinets and the types of objects typically displayed.
Offering both a historical overview and a look into contemporary interior design, this extravagantly illustrated book celebrates the wonderfully off world of cabinets of curiosities.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 232 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Abrams
- Publication Date: 01/10/2012
- Category: Interior design, decor & style guides
- ISBN: 9781419705540
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Review by mstrust
The history of curiosity cabinets that focused on science, botany, marine life or often a mixture of all things exotic and strange. Many of the cabinets are actually rooms or even whole homes, and the age ranges from collections that are more than 300 hundred years old to a few that are currently being built or artists that make pieces that harken to the days of curiosity collections.To be honest, the sight of many of the collections is pretty gross: embalmed bodies clearly had their admirers. I much prefer the seashells and sculptures.