×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Cabinets of Curiosities
     

Cabinets of Curiosities

by Patrick Mauries
 

See All Formats & Editions

"Bound to entertain anyone who is intellectually curious, and serve as a source of inspiration for interior decorators and contemporary artists."—Antiques and the Arts
Unicorns’ horns, mermaids’ skeletons, stuffed and preserved animals and plants, work in precious metals, clocks, scientific instruments, celestial globes . . . all knowledge, the

Overview

"Bound to entertain anyone who is intellectually curious, and serve as a source of inspiration for interior decorators and contemporary artists."—Antiques and the Arts
Unicorns’ horns, mermaids’ skeletons, stuffed and preserved animals and plants, work in precious metals, clocks, scientific instruments, celestial globes . . . all knowledge, the whole cosmos arranged on shelves. Such were the cabinets of curiosities of the seventeenth century, the last period of history when man could aspire to know everything.
Who were the collectors? They were archdukes and kings—the Emperor Rudolf II was the prince of all collectors—rich merchants and scholars, and their collections ranged from a single crowded room to whole palatial suites. Patrick Mauriès traces the amazing history of these “rooms of wonders” in this ingeniously erudite survey. Not many of the rooms survive, though there are pictorial records, but their contents still exist and are among the treasures of museums all over the world.

Editorial Reviews

The Midwest Book Review
“Packed with so many images it will appeal to art libraries as well, but is recommended here for its special interest to collections appealing to collectors of oddities.”
Antiques & The Arts Weekly
“Mauriés’ tour of strange objects is entertaining and fascinating. His chapters . . . reflect a deeply intellectual appreciation.”
The Bloomsbury Review
“[This book] is an entertaining read with hundreds of images of both the collectibles and the elaborate presentations fashioned for them during the great age of collecting.”
Library Journal
In this sumptuously illustrated volume, Mauries (Jean Cocteau) presents the long history of cabinets of curiosities-grand accumulations of rare, exotic, or unusual objects either natural or human-made, displayed in decorative cases or entire rooms. The earliest documented case, from late 15th-century Italy, was a collection of books as well as a variety of botanical and zoological specimens (including a stuffed crocodile). Collections have also included textiles, scientific and musical instruments, ethnographic objects, automata, paintings, silverware, and mummified anatomical specimens. That the fascination with collecting-as well as with organizing these collections in some artistic fashion-has continued through the centuries is evident in the "shadow boxes" by 20th-century artists such as Joseph Cornell. In many ways, this book is a cabinet of curiosities in itself-crammed with fascinating images and information. While the images are the book's strength (the author is affiliated with the beautifully illustrated Italian journal FMR), some are used as background to the text, thereby either obscuring or being obscured by the printed page. Even worse, some lack captions or have captions that are erroneous. In addition, the book suffers from not having an adequate index or a glossary to help with the many foreign and esoteric terms used. Although the book is fun to browse through, it shouldn't be considered a necessary purchase.-Margaret Gross, Chicago P.L. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500515945
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,389,539
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 12.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Mauriès is a writer and publisher. He is the author of more than forty books and a regular contributor to Vogue, Purple Magazine, L’Officiel, World of Interiors, and AD.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews