Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Strange World of Professor Copperwaite

At Duke's Auctioneers in England, the Brading Collection (from a museum on the Isle of Wright) is currently up for auction. Among the military antiques, exotic furnishings, and priceless treasures from the British empire, one can find a lot entitled "The Strange World of Professor Copperwaite". In this collection, which seems to be something of a 19th century cabinet of curiosities, we can find peculiar waxwork and taxidermy specimens: a stuffed "yeti", the mounted remains of a "unicorn", three stuffed dogs of a now-extinct breed kept in ancient Rome, a waxwork model of famed dwarf Tom Thumb, SID (A Victorian Monster), which is some sort of winged web-footed creature, a ceremonial "yeti" mask bought from a sherpa in Tibet by Captain Humphrey Scott-Taylor, and many more strange and quixotic specimens.

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

1 comment:

Autumnforest said...

Absolutely. I love that stuff. Reminds me of the Ripley's Believe it or Not displays. I think it'd be fun to write about the imaginary world in which these objects were "legit." Now, that's a cool world.