The Brading museum, founded by Graham Osborne-Smith in 1965, acquired the pieces from an antiques dealer somewhere in the North of England. Although the provenance is murky, the dealer, it is claimed, had picked up the items from the estate of one Professor Copperthwaite, an eccentric academic who traveled the globe in the late 19th Century. He had a penchant for collecting the unusual and bizarre.
It certainly sets my creative juices flowing, I'm already thinking of the great story ideas that can come out of such a collection and its eccentric owner.
You can see more of the collection here