How to start your own cabinet of curiosities

Bring all your favourite objects together through this Renaissance trend that fascinates many to this day.

Cabinets of curiosities began in Germany, where whole rooms were dedicated to encyclopaedic collections that showcased the wonders of nature, as well as art collections, objets d’art, and other curious or fascinating items. Their aim was to show how cultured and knowledgeable their owner was.  

Today, the trend continues, though adopters tend to have fewer turtle shells, stuffed birds, and supposed mermaid corpses (yes, really) as part of their collections, and more ordinary objects that mean something to them. Collections tend to range from those of pretty rocks and stones picked up during walks, to favourite toys, fashion accessories, and original miniature creations.

The process to start your own is much easier than you’d expect, with many of the world’s best museums offering step-by-step guides on how to do it, including this one for children by the Canterbury Museum and the video posted by The Met, which goes on to explain how to make a compact one.

Ideas can also be found on that ever-wonderful site, Pinterest. Here you will find moodier and more eclectic cabinets and collections that range from single shelves to whole rooms.

So, the only question that remains is: what will you put in your cabinet?

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