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Part of Scientific Revolution Was A
Fascination With Plants, Animals

The scientific revolution which began in the 17th century and burgeoned in the 18th brought a countless number of contributions to the knowledge of the natural world. In this developing “Age of Reason,” natures’s creations became both a fasciation and a pattern of how the universe worked.

Plants and animals alike were carefully preserved and recorded in all their complexity and diversity. They appeared not only in books and prints of the scientifically minded, but also were embodied in the decoration of ceramics, fabrics and other objects of daily life.

It became both fashionable and practical for pioneer naturalists, as well as wealthy amateurs, to form collections of natural history specimens for study and display.
These collections often held positions of importance in the living rooms, displayed in pieces of furniture, or cases, called “cabinets of curiosities.”

In England, plants and animals from “the colonies” were of special interests. However, Americans themselves adopted the fad. For example, Thomas Jefferson had a case of “relics and curiosities” displayed in a cabinet in the entrance hall of his home at Monticello.

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Bugatti Designs Unconventional

Carlo Bugatti was a well-known furniture designer whose work does not fit into any of the commonly accepted categories or movements. He was born in Italy in 1855 and lived to the age of 85.

The designs he produced for furniture were often bizarre, but customers found them to be exciting and appealing. He use painted vellum, pewter, tassels, fringes, inlay work of ivory, wood and metal, stamped brass and asymmetrical uprights. He also painted some of his work with Middle Eastern designs. Some pieces are carved to resemble native African art, giving them a distinct jungle look. At an exposition in 1902, his “Snail Room” created tremendous interest. Every piece featured large arcs and curves, and the frame works were decorated with Islamic designs.

Bugatti retired from furniture design in 1907 and spent the rest of his life painting and designing silver tableware.

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Carved Wooden Spoon First Sign Of Love

The custom of giving a hand-carved wooden spoon as a courting gift was a custom in Wales and some regions of England, Spain, France and Scandinavia from the 17th to the 19th Centuries.

These spoons, often called love spoons, are now considered to be a form of folk art. The piece of wood was carved using a small knife. Sometimes it was decorated with hearts, keys or carved lengths of chain.

It was then given to a young woman as a forerunner to a proposal of marriage. It was not considered improper for a girl to accept several spoons before she made up her mind as to which beau she would accept.

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