Very Vintage

Vintage style photo of Spyralle's new Victorian Museum Display Cabinet

Spyralle Victorian Museum Cabinet Upright Mahogany Upright

You know you’re getting old when you stroll around the annual Vintage Fair and find yourself constantly exclaiming, “Wait! THAT’s not vintage!” – and then you realize, for a lot of people, that IS vintage.

For Vintage Fair 2020, I went all the way back to the Victorian era, which is vintage even for me, and made this museum display cabinet inspired by a visit last year to the Milwaukee Public Museum. Milwaukee’s natural history museum is a vast and delightful experience, made even more charming by their inclusion and maintenance of vintage exhibits that say a lot about the history of museums and the attitudes of the eras when displays were made. There is a dinosaur room with sound and light effects that is quite a treat for kids of a certain vintage! It has seen better days, but I hope they don’t phase it out.

One of the most fascinating parts, to me, was the Victorian era display. In those days, a museum of natural history showed the exotic, the curious, the beautiful – with no context and very little comment. Objects were often grouped in cabinets with no particular system. Perhaps they came from the same world-traveling donor, or represented the same type of thing (e.g. birds), or they simply looked impressive together. They still do.

Even the display furniture is interesting, though a bit massive and overwhelming in the eyes of the present era. My version is simplified down quite a lot for the sake of land impact and scaled more realistically for your virtual home, I hope.

I also hope Victorian furniture comes back into fashion by the time I’m ready to offload  my real life collection…

Vintage Fair runs through June 22. Spyralle’s vintage is located here.

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