Monday, July 12, 2010

Cabinet of Curiosities

Teaching aid constructed of painted wood balls linked by rods and springs.
Mid-20th c.
15 x 17 x 9 inches

Someone by the name of Carl Nash covered an old calculator with duck postage stamps and signed it.
7.5 x 14 x 8 inches

What a strange packaging concept to put candy inside a gun container. What where they thinking? Mercury glass, mounted on base.
8 x 4.5 x 1.5 inches

Mysterious owl formed by nature. Mounted on metal base.
12 x 6 x 2 inches

The head is wired with speaker for use in a drive-in. Painted molded rubber on metal disc.
Mid-20th c.
9 x 10 x 10 inches

The ball rolls freely in it’s wooden socket which was used for darning. A wonder of Shaker craftsmanship and ingenuity. The socket was soaked to expand the wood and after the ball was inserted it shrank to hold it. The ball rolls in the hand like a large prayer bead. Initialed S.H.H. from F.A. August 1908 in ink on bottom.
2 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches

Pair of buffalo scapula bone tools found in an outcropping along the Missouri River. Indians used every bit of the Buffalo they hunted. These may have been used to scrape and prepare the hides for use.

AARNE ANTON, THE MAN BEHIND American Primitive Gallery in New York City, recently added a new department on his website called “Cabinet of Curiosities.” Often called W√ľnderkammer (or, wonder-room), the term derives from the collections of unusual objects—groupings of such things as odd bugs, objects d’art, stuffed animals, antlers, claws, feathers, exotic sea shells, old coins, polished gem stones, shrunken heads, pressed plants, and man-made and natural curiosities brought back by sailors from distant lands. People interested in these curiosities would obtain them from travelers (or from their own travels) and display them in a room or “cabinet” for display.

I have always wanted my own home to be something akin to the W√ľnderkammer. It’s not there yet—and it may never be as long as people like Aarne Anton keep tempting me with these obscure objects to desire.

1 comment:

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Cabinet Makers

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