Later, curiosity cabinets began to contain found objects as well, including pretty much anything that caught the fancy of the cabinet owner. That's where I find myself today.
Slowly but surely our library (and to some degree, other rooms – as visitors can attest) has become our own little Cabinet of Curiosities. We collect lots of "strange" things like antique taxidermy, antique dresses and costume, paper ephemera, books, shells, sticks, bones... pretty much anything that catches our fancies. We teeter on the edge of "hoarding" pretty much every day, but having things displayed in this manor allows us to confidently say "We aren't hoarders; We're collectors!" (It's a fine line, I know...)
My husband is a comic book artist and illustrator, and his work has a very specific aesthetic (each piece is also similar to an illustrated Curiosity Cabinet) and so we justify keeping a lot of our found objects by calling them "drawing reference". It's amazing how often he pops into the library, now dually serving as my sewing studio, to grab a replica bird skull or a starfish so that he can get just the right angle on what he is drawing.
I'll never forget the time I hosted an orchard cleanup potluck at my house and several of my horseback riding students came to help. Someone discovered the library on a trip to the bathroom and before I knew it I had a crowd of tweenager/teenagers in my room, whispering and pointing and asking all sorts of questions. They'd never seen anything like it, outside of a museum, and the notion that someone could have a collection like ours was certainly new to them. They still talk about it now, though it was at least three years ago!
I will be posting a pre-Valentine's Day tutorial next week on how to make miniature curiosity cabinets like this for your secret admirée! They're a beautiful addition to any shelf/wall and since they are primarily paper-crafted you can add whatever you want to them to make them wholly your own!
Do you have any areas in your house that you think of as Curiosity Cabinets?