A new ‘Museum of Curiositiy’ has been opened by an old friend, the actor Sean Pertwee, that features the kind of Victorian objects you used to find at the back of local museums, including bat skeletons, false eyes and manufactured wonders of a distinctly ghoulish tint.
The galley exhibition was inspired by the ‘Wunderkammern’ of Renaissance Europe: collections put together by wealthy travellers who tried to represent a microcosm of the world by gathering objects from natural history, together with religious relics and archaeological finds. The curiosity collector Sir Hans Sloane had a collection of 71,000 objects, mostly natural history specimens and curios, that formed the basis of the Natural History Museum. The nation was bequeathed it after his death in 1753.
This collection is more surreal, with examples of strange taxidermy and altered portraits. I’m quite taken with the eyeball bee being carried by skeletons, but won’t like the price tag. The show continues at Pertwee, Anderson & Gold, Bateman St, Soho.