Cabinet of curiosities, the forerunner of the modern museum, albeit with an emphasis on typology rather than chronology, its German name of "Wunderkammer" described it well, for it housed wonders ranging from rare shells and coins to narwhal horns, coral carvings and what we today would call ethnographic materials. Gentlemen and princes (probably from Roman times if not earlier) have collected the strange and the curious, from mummified mermaids to (stuffed) two-headed calves. They were particularly popular in the Renaissance. Antiquities and works of art might also be included, as well as fossils and other elements of natural history, but the first emphasis was on the strange and unnatural, and fakes were rife.
A Bruxellles, Pierre BERGÉ et associés organisent régulièrement des ventes aux enchères dans la Salle des Beaux-Arts. Voici quelques exemples: SHABBY CHIC 4 Lundi 23 avril 2012: Naturalia Corail noir gravé. H_31 cm Estimation : 200 - 300 ¤ Lot de trois gorgones de mer. H_50 cm H_40 cm H_59 cm Résultat : 220 ¤