The Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities, at the me Collectors Room in Berlin has been extended. From 29th November it will feature a host of newly acquired artefacts – including a 17th Century silver-mounted coconut goblet.
Opened in 2010, the me Gallery (me standing for ‘moving energies’) was the brainchild of Thomas Olbricht, a 64-year old doctor and former chairman of the Wella cosmetics firm. He wanted to host temporary exhibitions by different artists and collectors, as well as have a permanent space for his own vast collection, which includes antiques, artworks and curiosities spanning 500 years. His aim was to give visitors – especially the younger age group – a revitalising museum experience, awakening a sense of wonder and mystery through the use of themed displays that blend different mediums and time periods.
Olbricht’s Wunderkammer is a long way removed from the antique cabinets of Lancashire museums, having a strong similarity to the Kunst-und-Wunderkammer galleries of the German Renaissance and baroque periods, containing collections of fossils, scientific instruments and precious artworks. As with the wunderkammers of the baroque period, there is a strong focus on death and the macabre, which should certainly find favour with younger visitors. The new extension has enabled Olbricht to display previously seen curios that are both strange and beautiful, such as a copper-mounted goblet, circa 1580, fashioned from a turbo shell – a kind of conch – and a 17th Century ray-skin powder horn.
If you need storage for your curios, talk to an antique dealer in Preston about antique cabinets designed for collectors. These were often exquisitely made, with hidden drawers and secret compartments lined with mirrors.
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