Cabinet of curiosities
(1,040 words)

Cabinets of curiosities (also Kunstkammer, Wunderkammer, cabinets of wonder, wonder-rooms, etcetera) were a form of collection that had their heyday in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and faded into obscurity in the 18th and 19th centuries. Unlike the later, specialist museum and learned scholarly collection in the stricter sense, cabinets of curiosities assembled objects from a wide variety of spheres, including art objects, naturalia, mechanical and scientific instruments, and everyday objects from other cultures.

According to [7], the earliest antecedents of the…

Cite this page
Rosenke, Stephan, “Cabinet of curiosities”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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