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The Cabinet of Curiosities

Updated on February 5, 2017

Welcome to a Curious World

During the Victorian era Cabinets of Curiosity were all the rage. They collected natural specimens, fossils, artifacts, and oddities. Take a peak into that world.

If you like what you see, maybe start one of your own!

Why am I interested in Cabinets of Curiosity?

For years I've been fascinated by old victorian natural history collections and all the interesting things that went into them. I think it started with the first time I read about Captain Nemo's collection of sea life specimens in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and continued with my own interest in science and nature.

This interest has led to many of my own art creations being suitable to a modern Cabinet of Curiosity. I even had a small one of my own that includes fossils, dried plants, a few insects, and mineral specimens alongside my sculptures that haven't yet sold.

This lens is meant to be a place to collect information about building up a Cabinet of Curiosities of both natural and man-made specimens.


Artificial Wonders

Many fabricated wonders showed up in curiosity cabinets in the 19th century. Many were fake artifacts from far away cultures. Some were fabulous creations like Feejee Mermaids meant to trick people into believing in a mythical creature. Some were simply mistakes such as confusing narwhal tusks for unicorn horns.

Modern Cabinets of Wonder can be filled with handmade creations by both yourself or artists. Here are a collection of links to projects for making your own handmade specimens, artists who's work would fit into a wunderkammer, and famous fakes both modern and historical.

Famous Fakes

Cabinets of Curiosities often contained faked specimens (usually unknown by the owner). Here is a collection of historical and modern fakes that could find a home in a Wunderkammer.

Pen your Thoughts

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    • SMW1962 LM profile image

      SMW1962 LM 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful Items & Great Lens! Thank You!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      interesting lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for this lens! love it.


      wine cabinet

    • chezchazz profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Ditto. Blessed on the Squid Angels Epic Back To School Bus Trip Quest. Your lens will be featured on âWing-ing it on Squidoo,â our lensography of some of the best Squidoo has to offer, as soon as the quest has been completed.

    • DianaHarper LM profile image

      DianaHarper LM 

      7 years ago

      Cool topic! Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thought you'd like to know that this lens is featured in my Ten Intriguing Collections lens. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. I've had a Cabinet of Curiosity for years without ever realizing that's what it was. In fact, I did a lens about it: Ten Tiny Treasures and I'm lensrolling to this lens. You did a great job -- lots of resources to explore. Blessed.

    • joanv334 profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • DrRobertIng profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this stuff. I have a collection of over 300 pieces myself. Thanks for sharing this.

    • diabolus lm profile image

      diabolus lm 

      8 years ago

      Message me if you want to see my Victorian white seashell and coral display!

    • WritingforYourW profile image


      8 years ago

      Neat idea for a lens! I first learned about these funky collections reading Preston & Child's Cabinet of Curiosities (thriller). Fun era. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Interesting lens, love it! Have a few curiosity cabinets of my own at home :o) 5 stars. Loving all ur lenses!

    • gemmagold profile image


      9 years ago

      An unusual & creative lens. Great Links, great lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love the site, with some great links on it, that's my next few hours sorted.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Lots of fun stuff to explore. I would love to add your lens to my group for the Victorian Era.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      10 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This lens is as fascinating as anything in a jar.

      There are many museums on England that are Victorian collections willed to the Country. One that comes to mind is the Sloan House in London.

      The whole house was expanded and altered to be a huge cabinet. Thanks for high lighting this basic human urge.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Your choices for lens topics always grab my attention and I'm loving this one! My daughters go to Montessori/Liberal arts school and I think a cabinet of curiosity would be a project the teachers and students would LOVE to work on. I'm going to make a suggestion to the Jr. & high school teachers our next parent meeting.


      I saw your comment on the pink flamingo lens, LOL! The Mosquito Protection Society appreciates your support. :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      LOVE IT...5*s!...rolled this lens back to my Steampunk lens too! :O) Love the Flickr jewelry pics! Thanks!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wonderful Lens, congratulations!


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