What’s a Cabinet of Curiosities?
Cabinets of curiosities were collections of notable objects. The term originated in the sixteenth century and described a room rather than a piece of furniture.
Cabinets of curiosities are considered to be the ancestors of modern museum. They played a fundamental role in the development of modern science, even if they were not always that 'scientific'.
They used to exhibit a wide variety of objects and artifacts, with a particular leaning towards the rare and eclectic.
Cabinets of curiosities, through the selection of objects, told a particular story about the world and its history.
Now, this is my own very personal Cabinet of Curiosities and I do hope it will develop into a tool able to tell my very own story.
In cabinets of curiosities, collections were often organized into about four categories (called in Latin):
Artificialia, which groups the objects created or modified by human (antiques, works of art);
Naturalia, which includes creatures and natural objects (with a particular interest in monsters);
Exotica, which includes exotic plants and animals; and
Scientifica, which brings together scientific instruments.
As you may imagine, I may also have my own categories....