An artist friend of mine in Brooklyn recently mentioned her ongoing hunt for tiny animal bones. This is how new obsessions begin. Someone mentions something intriguing — animal bones, but why? — and suddenly I'm scouring the Web for them. What kept popping up in my searches was "specimens," and not just bones, but a whole world of weird objects.
Curiosity cabinets filled with natural specimens, fossils, artifacts, and oddities were all the rage in the Victorian age. You can find antique cabinets at auction houses, but they'll cost you. Instead, do a quick search on Etsy, which seems to be Specimen Central. You can score everything from tiny bones to shells to an entire cabinet prepacked with goods.
• "Natural History Cabinet of Curiosities no. 6" from Psychedelic Panther. This petite vintage cabinet comes with a moth, sea urchins, a shark jaw, and more.
• Actual bones or dead things in formaldehyde a little too creepy? Amsterdam artist Sakura Snow offers a collection of Curiosity Cabinet screenprints.
• This colorful fabric from Horrible Adorables would make a cool addition to a quilt for a quirky science kid.
• I am totally into the PULPmiscellania shop on Etsy, which sells wonderfully odd items like glass eyeballs, tiny doll arms, and bones.
• Forget about taxidermy. This beautifully mounted rabbit skull is way cooler. From Portland's Le Curator (the bones are found objects, in case you feel bad for the bunny).
Images: As cited above