Already there was a blog called Wunderkammer, in the singular form. So I choosed its plural, also because my life is made of more than one room, and every one of those is, in its peculiar way, a Wunderkammer.
Well, yes, ok, but… er… what’s really a Wunderkammer?
I discovered it only two days ago, when I was reading for the -n time one of my favourite books, The Idea of North by P. Davidson. Unfortunately I’m reading it in Italian, this is why the next quotations will be in this language:
“Durante i secoli barocchi, i prussiani esibirono il loro monopolio sull’ambra elargendo, come doni di rappresentanza, elaborati oggetti in ambra, come lo splendido scrigno in ambra offerto dallo stesso Federico Guglielmo ad Augusto il Forte di Sassonia, tuttora nella Wunderkammer del Grüne Gewolbe di Dresda.
(P. Mauries, Cabinets of Curiosities, Thames and Hudson, London, 2002, p. 52)”and again later:
La circolazione di artefatti sciamanici determinò una qualche sovrapposizione tra le concrete manipolazioni artiche dell’aldilà e le più antiche fantasie sul nord come terra di spiriti e maghi. Gli strumenti sciamanici che finirono nelle Wunderkammern d’Europa furono percepiti come genericamente appartenenti a maghi nordici.
And so, a Wunderkammer is a sort of room where people, particularly in the seventeenth century, rich people, nobles, used to put and store, in a sense, objects and memorabilia from their travels or strange objects they found or were gifted during their life.
It is extremely rare that people I’ve known till now did gift me with something worth of a Wunderkammer, even if I dare say I have got a similar place in my sitting room at home. It is a piece of Ikea furniture called Norrebo where I store my books and little objects. My favourite ones are a keychain with a wood reindeer having on its face the flag of Finland. I bought it in Turku, in a grey and cold morning two years ago. And I won’t never forget that morning, when I walked along the river and the air was misty along the trees, down the road.
Another object is a little silver lantern with a snowflake. I bought it myself as a present for Christmas (I do often buy presents to myself, at least I gift myself with all I really like and long for) in my native town. Last year I found another one, in the same shop, always in the same period before Christmas. I am so happy because the only two ones are mine. One I gave it recently to a person I love who collects stuff regarding North (well I dare say his is a really Wunderkammer).