Cabinet of Curiosities: A World of Intrigue

Mar 30, 2009 by

Cabinets of Curiosities, or Wunderkammers, have always piqued…well, my curiosity!   It’s quite easy to see how these Cabinets were the predecessors of our museums.  I would like to one day have my own Wunderkammer in my home, sans natural history items that scare me, such as bones and bugs.  Instead, I think my Wunderkammers would be akin to the one below, comprised of shells, gems, pressed plants, and perhaps even Cabinets of Curiosities filled with antique typewriters and vintage cameras!


As captured by astropop, Teylers Museum’s impressive Wunderkammer — which truly is a Room of Curiosities in every sense — displays magnificent collections of fossils and gems.


This wunderkammer showcases a beautiful collection and examination of shells and coral.  I especially like how the red stands tie the exhibit together.


I particularly like Real Simple’s interpretation of Cabinets of Curiosities!  While the naturalalist elements are clearly not involved, it is a fun vintage twist on an antiquarian concept.



Maissa Toulet, a French artist, combines the allure of Wunderkammers with an artistic aesthetic.  Instead of grouping items solely by species, Maissa Toulet considers color pallate as well.

Are you on your way to creating your own cabinet of curiosities?

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  1. I love the first coral cabinet, because the cabinet itself is also very beautiful. It is always nice when the containers are part of the design element. Thank you for sharing!

  2. These are SO neat – I love curiosites like these.

  3. So beautiful! I love curiosity cabinets (of course, I also love creepy things like animal skeletons and bugs – it’s my scientific side showing through).

  4. oh wow, i love the bell jars!

  5. I like to do that with my old black china cabinet near Halloween, but I am working on making a look like that for year round use by collecting some bones and such. It’s slow going though.

  6. So this is really nerdy of me…. the first photo instantly made me think of Harry Potter’s Department of Mysteries.

    Love the bell jars too…

  7. Oh, this could be fun. I have a ton of weird stuff that might actually look cool if displayed like this.

    Agreed, about Harry Potter’s Department of Mysteries.

  8. Amy

    I love Real Simple’s interpretation – makes me want to run to an antique shop and find lots of small quirky stuff to put under glass!

  9. Dale Nason

    Thanks for posting the images of various artists ‘wunderkammers’. Nice. :) + :)


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