Cabinet of Curiosities Case Contents

The Cabinet of Curiosities is filled with an array of specimens and objects collected from the late eighteenth century onwards. Like earlier examples of the ‘Wunderkammer’, this display includes various natural history specimens such as a two-headed shark and a narwhal tusk as well as artefacts such as ancient greek marbles and eighteenth century duelling pistols. 
  • Crysophase

50 million-year-old shark teeth

Teeth and vertebrae of Otodus Obliquus, one of the earliest mackerel sharks that lived in the Eocene. They have a characteristic triangular shape and some can reach more than 3.5 inches.

Reference: CANWH:1995.15
Can be found: The Study Collection

Alligator

Alligator

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

American feather star

American feather star

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Ammonite Pylloceras

Ammonite Pylloceras

Reference: 1984.3.1
Can be found: The Study Collection

Ammonite Pylloceras,

Ammonite Pylloceras,

Reference: 1984.3.2.1
Can be found: The Study Collection

Armadillo

Armadillo

Reference: 1999.241
Can be found: The Study Collection

Australian throwing boards

Australian throwing boards

Reference: 4470, 4471
Can be found: The Study Collection

Box of duelling pistols

Box of duelling pistols

Duelling pistols used to be manufactured during the 18th and 19th century for the purpose of an equal fight between men. These specialized weapons were relatively lightweight, accurate and could be considered the finest examples of firearms available back then.

Reference: CANCM:2002.315.1-3
Can be found: The Study Collection

Boxes of butterflies

Boxes of butterflies

Presented by Mr Hirst
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze bell

Bronze bell

Reference: 7906
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze cherub  Canterbury Museums and Galleries

Bronze cherub Canterbury Museums and Galleries

Reference: 4126
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze cupid

Bronze cupid

Reference: 1185 or 4136
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze figure

Bronze figure

Reference: 4102
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze figure

Bronze figure

Reference: 4101
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze figure of a cloaked man

Bronze figure of a cloaked man

Reference: 4098
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze figure of a wild man of the woods

Bronze figure of a wild man of the woods

Currently on loan to the Royal Cornwall Museum

Reference: 4567
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze head

Bronze head

Presented by Mr Hirst
Reference: 4272
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze lizard with a man’s face

Bronze lizard with a man’s face

Reference: 4139(?)
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze medieval weight

Bronze medieval weight

Reference: 4784(?)
Can be found: The Study Collection

Bronze pastry cutter

Bronze pastry cutter

Reference: 4779
Can be found: The Study Collection

Brush tailed possum

Brush tailed possum

Reference: 1999.253
Can be found: The Study Collection

Burmese temple in glass dome

Burmese temple in glass dome

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Carved coconut with a lid, from South  Sea Islands

Carved coconut with a lid, from South Sea Islands

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Carved wooden cradle with sides and bottom with cane, resting on four carved legs

Carved wooden cradle with sides and bottom with cane, resting on four carved legs

Reference: CANCM:4512
Can be found: The Study Collection

Chameleons

Reference: C120
Can be found: The Study Collection

Chicken skin gloves in a walnut shell

Chicken skin gloves in a walnut shell

A 19th century fashion item, also called ‘limerick gloves’. They were so thin that they could be folded up into a nut shell, with such delicacy of texture ordinarily aimed at the upper classes. Despite their name, limerick gloves were made out of the skin of unborn calves.

Reference: CANCM:7970
Can be found: The Study Collection

Chinese pangolin

Chinese pangolin

An endangered species, pangolins are scaly anteaters that also live in Africa, India and South-East Asia. Their scales resemble a pinecone.

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Coc

Coc

Reference: 1999.107
Can be found: The Study Collection

Cochiti Pueblo animal handled vessel

Typical of the ceramics produced by the Cochiti Pueblo people of New Mexico, USA. Our examples were acquired by a traveller in the late 19th century.

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Cochiti Pueblo snake-shaped vessel

The Cochiti Pueblo people of New Mexico, USA, produce ceramics with animal forms and decorations. Our examples were acquired by a traveller in the late 19th century.

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Cochiti Pueblo three-legged vessel

Cochiti Pueblo three-legged vessel

Typical of the ceramics produced by the Cochiti Pueblo people of New Mexico, USA. Our examples were acquired by a traveller in the late 19th century.

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Coco de mer seed

Coco de mer seed

Reference: 6442
Can be found: The Study Collection

Crysophase

Reference: N.33
Can be found: Second Case - Top Shelf in The Study Collection

Drawer of South American insects

Drawer of South American insects

Presented by William Miller to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum and acquired through purchase of the Museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: 2000.110
Can be found: The Study Collection

Duck billed platypus

Duck billed platypus

Reference: O96
Can be found: The Study Collection

Farmyard duckling

Farmyard duckling

A mutant with four legs from Hawe Farm, Sturry.

Reference: CANCM:1999.109
Can be found: The Study Collection

Figurine in a jousting pose

Figurine in a jousting pose

Reference: 4121
Can be found: The Study Collection

Five large palatal teeth of a fish on  chalk

Five large palatal teeth of a fish on chalk

Reference: cancm A 64
Can be found: The Study Collection

Fossil fish

From Monte Bolca, Italy, a site rich in very well preserved marine fossils from the Eocene period, one of the first fossil sites to be known and studied. This particular fossil was given to Francis Crow by the Royal Institute of Paris and may have been part of the Haeberlein Collection looted by Napoleon. Its matching half is in the Louvre museum, Paris.

Presented by Francis Crow
Reference: A92
Can be found: The Study Collection

Fossil nautilus cut in half

Fossil nautilus cut in half

Reference: 2003.418
Can be found: The Study Collection

Fossil Turtle

Fossil Turtle

Preserved in a large nodule of cement stone from the London Clay, this fossil turtle was probably found on the Isle of Sheppey. It is positioned upside down showing the inside of its shell, ribs and backbone.

Reference: cancm:2004.156
Can be found: The Study Collection

Gannet

Reference: G82
Can be found: The Study Collection

Gastropoda shells – Oliva oliva

Gastropoda shells – Oliva oliva

Shells of carnivorous sea snails that live predominantly in warm and tropical seas. Other examples in the collection include Turbo Petholatus (CANCM:L 599), Pecten Proteus Sol. (CANCM: 2006.88), Pleuroptoma Babylonica (CANCM:547), Potamides Fuscatus (CANCM: 2006.76) and tiny gastropods in round cases, such as Ris soa sp.cf.confinis

Reference: CANCM:L 63
Can be found: The Study Collection

Goliath beetle in a box with imperial scorpion

Goliath beetle in a box with imperial scorpion

The mahogany box was donated in 1936 and contains two fine insect specimen from West Africa.

Reference: CANCM:2000.14.1
Can be found: The Study Collection

Goosander

Reference: G97
Can be found: The Study Collection

Great bustard

Great bustard

Reference: E57
Can be found: The Study Collection

Green glass bottle

Green glass bottle

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Greensand ammonite

Greensand ammonite

This ammonite comes from the Lower Greensand, a Cretaceous age rock. The green in greensand comes from the mineral glauconite.

Reference: 2001.204
Can be found: Second Case - Top Shelf in The Study Collection

Halberd

Halberd

Combination axe and spear

Reference: 10582
Can be found: The Study Collection

Hawksbill turtle shell

Hawksbill turtle shell

This turtle shell is turned inside out to see the interior structure.

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Kidney ore

Kidney ore

A variety of hematite, an oxide mineral, found in a range of red, orange, brown and grey colours. It derives its name from its lumpy, kidney-like appearance.

Reference: CANCM:2006.202
Can be found: The Study Collection

Kiwi bird

Kiwi bird

Reference: CANCM: 1999.841
Can be found: The Study Collection

Lion skin

Lion skin

A taxidermy lion skin similar to one from the early Canterbury museums collection. Listen here for audio and...

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Reference: 1999.249
Can be found: The Study Collection

Little bustard

Little bustard

Reference: E84
Can be found: The Study Collection

Marble heads

Marble heads

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Medallion showing Strasbourg  Cathedral

Medallion showing Strasbourg Cathedral

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Model canoe of birch bark

Model canoe of birch bark

Reference: 4524
Can be found: The Study Collection

Narwhal tusk

Given by Reverend Holman, who took part in the search for Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic expedition to find the North-West passage.

Presented by Rev. Holman
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Nautilus shells

Nautilus shells

Polished to reveal mother-of-pearl and cut to show the mathematical spiral of buoyancy chambers inside. Nautilus shells were much prized by collectors from the Renaissance onwards for their shape and lustre.

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Purse

Purse

Reputed to have belonged to Oliver Cromwell.

Reference: 4755
Can be found: The Study Collection

Rectangle of moulded black lava, im printed ‘VESUV 1820’ and ‘H.C.E.G.  E.S.M.R.’

Rectangle of moulded black lava, im printed ‘VESUV 1820’ and ‘H.C.E.G. E.S.M.R.’

Reference: CANCM:K 291?
Can be found: The Study Collection

Ruff

Ruff

Reference: E69
Can be found: The Study Collection

Shark jaws

Shark jaws

Reference: CANCM: 1990.270
Can be found: The Study Collection

Small bronze bust

Small bronze bust

Reference: 4128
Can be found: The Study Collection

Snowshoe

Snowshoe

Snow shoe of woven leather and gut thongs.

Reference: CANCM:4514
Can be found: The Study Collection

South American bolas

South American bolas

Bolas function as a hunting tool that is thrown in the distance and captures animals by entangling their legs.

Reference: CANCM:2010.2.2
Can be found: The Study Collection

Souvenir coin in volcanic lava

Souvenir coin in volcanic lava

Reference: 2004.270
Can be found: The Study Collection

Spices and nuts in their natural state

Spices and nuts in their natural state

Reference: 2000.24.3,5
Can be found: The Study Collection

Spiny anteater

Spiny anteater

Reference: O95.2
Can be found: The Study Collection

Statue of St Catherine

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Statuette

Statuette

Reference: 4125
Can be found: The Study Collection

Thorn bug box

Thorn bug box

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

Toucan

Toucan

Reference: 1999.42
Can be found: The Study Collection

Tray of seeds

Tray of seeds

Collected in British Guyana by Reverend R. Wyllie of Canterbury.

Presented by Rev. R. Wyllie
Reference: 2000.28
Can be found: The Study Collection

Tube containing volcanic dust and  lapilli from an eruption of Vesuvius

Tube containing volcanic dust and lapilli from an eruption of Vesuvius

Volcanic dust collected after an eruption of Vesuvius on 1 July 1907 by Mr Chinery of Orchard Street, Canterbury.

Presented by Mr Chinery, 1907
Reference: 2004.304
Can be found: The Study Collection

Two-headed shark in a jar

Two-headed shark in a jar

Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: The Study Collection

White saucer

White saucer

White porcelain saucer with a monogram of the monarch Louis Philippe, originating in Sevres, 1830. Despite living a much simpler lifestyle than his predecessors, the French king became unpopular during his reign and was targeted in seven assassinations before exiling to England.

Reference: CANCM:8627
Can be found: The Study Collection

William Goulden

William Goulden

1805

Oil on canvas

Stephen Hewson (1775-1807)
William Goulden (1749-1816) was a member of Canterbury Historical Society for the Cultivation of Useful Knowledge, which was founded in 1769 and met every Tuesday evening at the Guildhall Tavern.
He was one of two ‘Guardians of the Mathematical Instruments’. These included a brass telescope; an ‘electrical battery’ known as a Leyden jar, which he is holding in his right hand; and a ‘large electrical machine’ for generating electricity by friction, seen behind him.
Hewson painted portraits of three other members of the Society: John Calloway, silk weaver; Thomas Ridout, land surveyor; and Mr Cooper, holding an architectural plan (all in Canterbury Museums and Galleries collection). He also painted portraits of Canterbury’s Member of Parliament, Charles Robinson, and Alderman James Simmons, at around the same time. Hewson otherwise painted in the North and Midlands. He may have received the Canterbury commissions through Mechanics Institute networks.
The Society re-formed in 1825 as the Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution.

Presented by Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution, 1846
Reference: 3058
Can be found: The Study Collection

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