EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Cabinets of Curiosities

Patrick Mauriès


‘Weird and wonderful … like a catalogue for the repository of the most freakish flights of scientific imagination’ The Times

See Inside


All knowledge, the cosmos arranged on shelves, in cupboards, or hanging from the ceiling, ‘infinite riches in a little room’ – such were the cabinets of curiosities of the 17th century. This survey, now available in a compact edition, traces their amazing history, from their first appearance in the inventories and engravings commissioned by Renaissance nobles such as the Medici or the Hapsburgs, via those of the Dane Ole Wurm and the Italian polymath Athanasius Kircher, to the serious 17th- and 18th-century scientists Elias Ashmole and Levinas Vincent. Patrick Mauriès reconstructs these ‘rooms of wonders’ as they were in their heyday and illustrates many of the most exotic items they contained, as well as the few complete interiors that survive.


'Captivating ... just to read about the chaos of the cabinets, let alone look at the many beautiful images selected by Mauriès, is dizzying ... Mauriès offers the kind of historical unity of which the early collectors, with their wonderful curiosity and lust for affinity, would have been proud'
The Times Higher Education Supplement

'Mauriès’ book’s splendiferous illustrations, some of which fold out to disclose shocks within, alternate the delightful and the disturbing’ '

Times Literary Supplement

'One of the most beautiful art books you will ever see'
World of Interiors

'Awesome ... a splendid memento mori'
Irish Times

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Quarterbound (no jacket)

Edition Type: Reduced Format edition

Size: 25.5 x 18.8 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Publication date: 18 July 2019

ISBN: 9780500022887

About the Author

Patrick Mauriès is a writer and publisher of many notable titles on fashion and design, including Jewelry by Chanel, A Cabinet of Rarities, The World According to Karl and Fashion Quotes to name a few, all published by Thames & Hudson.