Friday, November 21, 2008

Little Shop of Wonders

Wunderkammer, Melbourne. Nov. 2008. Ajr
Some people are easy to buy gifts for; others are a nightmare. And speaking of nightmares, I have discovered THE most amazing little shop in Melbourne – a treasure trove really, a repository of the weird and wonderful for the person who has everything – or thought they did until they stepped into Wunderkammer! It’s not for the faint-hearted though. Tarantulas, scorpions, human skeletons, skulls and bats line up with full sized crocodiles, little armies of stuffed cane toads, foxes and big black beetles. Factor in butterflies, fossils, insects, assorted taxidermy, antique scientific and medical instruments, fossils and rocks and you begin to see why Wunderkammer considers itself as much a museum as a retail outlet. It is a truly fabulous place. I wanted to buy everything and it was only the thought of having to explain myself to Customs that curtailed my enthusiasm. The (German) word ‘Wunderkammer’ by the way, means ‘wonder-chamber.’ Very apt.

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