Friday, September 5, 2008
The Cuming Museum, London, England
A few days ago I visited The Cuming Museum based on a write-up I had found in my travel bible Weird Europe. The museum is basically the behest of an eclectic family collection consisting of over 25,000 objects complied by independentaly wealthy father/son collectors Richard (1777-1870) and Henry Syer Cuming (1817-1902). The two voraciously collected an astonishing variety of things; here are just a few: objects once residing in the Leverian Museum (essentially a cabinet of curiosity which was divided at auction in 1806, see bottom image), trade books, paper ephemera, games, scientific equipment, Egyptiana, taxidermy, fossils, archeological fakes, royal memorabilia, and curiosities of all sorts.
A later addition to the museum was Edward Lovett's collection of Superstious Objects, donated to the musuem in 1916; sadly, there was very little from that part of the collection on display. Still, the museum is well worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood; it provides a nice illustration of older forms of collecting, and features an intriguing assortment of objects, many embellished by their original meticulously hand-lettered labels (see third and fourth image down.)
Find out more about the museum here. See more photographs from the museum here.