Collector's Cabinet

Collecting natural history specimens began among doctors and pharmacists in the 16th century, and was taken up by European aristocrats. It continued as a popular hobby for the well-to-do through the 19th century. The craze for amassing collections of shells, insects, taxidermic specimens of animals and minerals was preoccupied with creating comprehensive systems of classifying natural phenomena. The impulse to classify was accompanied by a fascination with exotic species, and also with oddities and aberrations such as two-headed snakes. Read our online article about Collector’s Cabinets.

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