The original Cabinet of Curiosities of Bonnier de la Mosson. It was dismantled in 1935, restored, and eventually reinstalled in the library in 1979.

Curiosity cabinets were doubly residual: largely populated by the most “morte” of all natures (dried, stuffed, and bottled animals, plus all sorts of organic leftovers), they were also the poor offspring of the fabulous Wunderkammern, or wonder chambers, of the Renaissance, those immense collections of “rare” objects, where the natural and the artificial—products of “divine” and human craft, respectively—lived side-by-side as objects of amazement.

The original Cabinet of Curiosities of Bonnier de la Mosson. It was dismantled in 1935, restored, and eventually reinstalled in the library in 1979.

Curiosity cabinets were doubly residual: largely populated by the most “morte” of all natures (dried, stuffed, and bottled animals, plus all sorts of organic leftovers), they were also the poor offspring of the fabulous Wunderkammern, or wonder chambers, of the Renaissance, those immense collections of “rare” objects, where the natural and the artificial—products of “divine” and human craft, respectively—lived side-by-side as objects of amazement.

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