noun ( pl. -os)a rare, unusual, or intriguing object.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: abbreviation of curiosity .
synonyms: anomaly, bagatelle, bauble, bibelot, bygone, conversation piece, exoticism, gegaw, gimcrack, kickshaw, knick-knack, marvel, memento, nonesuch, nonpareil, novelty, objet d'art, oddity, ornament, peculiar object, prodigy, rara avis, rarity, singular object, souvenir, toy, trifle trinket, unusual object, virtù, whatnot, wonder
In the tradition of the Renaissance Kunstkammers, Wunderkammers and Cabinet of Curiosities, CASHON & CO is proud to carry on those traditions with our on-line store CURIO.
SO, What is a Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer anyways?
Both of these words mean "a room full of natural and man-made curiosities" and were created by the Austrian Empire in the 15th century. Kammer is the German word for room and Wunder literally means Wonder. Kunst roughly translates to Art/Treasures, and the Kunstkamera was the first museum established in Russia, a cabinet turned museum of curiosities, established by Peter the Great in 1719. In both Kunstkammers and Wunderkammers, rooms were created to showcase everything that at the time was a scientific and humanistic marvel, such as natural oddities (taxidermy, rare species remains, shells, minerals), Art (sculpture and paintings done by Master Artists) and Man-made wonders (porcelains and needlework).
In 16th century France and England, they used the English equivalent cabinet for the German kammer or kabinett. The term cabinet signified a room, and later became a literal cabinet, which both held a collection of works of art and these curiosities.
Being in the Interior Design business, Kellie Cashon of CASHON & CO has been an avid collector and bargain hunter for a long time. The progression to open Shop CURIO was a natural one, as it is the perfect way for her to continue her treasure hunting and pass on all her unique finds to the public.
Inspired from these Kunstkammers, Shop CURIO is intended to be a store with unique collectables including glass, pottery, minerals, shells, paintings, souvenirs, jewelry, and Asian artifacts. Although the shop has many vintage items, we reinvent them and present them in a way to make them modern and fresh again. We shop everywhere and at every opportunity looking for unusual items, at the right price, so you can shop for carefully chosen objects at a very fair price.
Speaking of carefully chosen, we also spend the extra time to prepare these often vintage and antique items before we putting them up for sale. How you ask?
Well, for instance, as much as we LOVE vintage linens (who does it better than Maderia, right?) sometimes they have that "old" smell.... and often, even if never used, they have age spots. We hand wash EACH item in a special linen soak (available through us here), using a multi-step process that sometimes takes up to three days of washing and soaking. Then we air-dry and press each one.
Regarding antique pottery, porcelain and glass, it usually requires a thorough cleaning. It's amazing, as so many of our porcelain items are from the 1800's and upon bathing, we can tell that it might be the first "bath" they have had in over 100 years! You can know that the items you receive will be clean to the best of our ability. We do it all by hand and take great care with each piece.
As a decorating firm, we LOVE lighting, especially lamps. We really try to find the most unique items to make into lamps, and we often do it ourselves in our Sample Room/Work Room. It is our goal that you have something special and unusual, and we spend a lot of time and energy into making each lamp a one-of-a-kind piece, with special attention to the shades and trim as well.
Where do we find our items? From as far away as Turkey and Romania to as close as our favourite local consignment stores, no shop or vendor is too high or too low for us to search out exceptional products. We shop huge Antique fairs, small-town antique malls, resort-town consignment stores, and of course, the reliable Estate Sale. We love to rescue un-loved and forgotten items and restore them to their former beauty. We research antiques and collectibles and are educated so we know what to look for, and what NOT to look for. When we find newly-made, but unique products, we want that too! We WORK HARD to bring you great things.
AND ONE LAST THING...
We take all the photographs you see on this site ourselves, and we use Textiles & Wallcoverings from some of our favourite Design Companies as the background for our objects. If you see a pattern or fabric under one of our products, and you want to know WHO MADE IT AND WHERE CAN I GET IT PLEASE, please contact us and we will try and accommodate your request with the appropriate information.
WE PROUDLY SUPPORT:
Antiques are Green. They are, really! They are sustainable, re-usable and re-saleable. Buying antiques reduces landfill, reduces carbon emissions, reduces consumption of new goods from abroad and is an excellent value for your money. We support and totally dig the re-cycling of old furniture!
FAIR TRADE PRODUCTS AND PRACTICES
Fair Trade helps everyone. Fair Trade goods are products that are made in developing countries, and produced in a way that helps their community. Farmers are taught how to build sustainable businesses; women are given skills to help them gain independence. Workers and craftsmen are paid a fair wage (often above what is their average) work conditions are safe and healthy, and there is no abuse of child labor in Fair Trade practices.
The funds created by these artisans and farmers are specifically designated for social and economic development. Workers learn how to build long-term trade relations and are given opportunities for advancement in their field. Its nice to know that an item we purchase on one side of the globe is directly helping someone on the other side of the world. CURIO has an entire section dedicated to Free Trade products! Go here to shop these special hand-crafted items that are helping artisans of impoverished countries empower themselves. And we only purchase items from Non-Profit organizations that are certified by the Fair Trade Federation. (above banner image courtesy of international-organics.)