Curio Cabinets Display Collectible Keepsakes
The term curio is generally used to describe all manner of bric a brac, knick knacks and other collectible items. From delicate figurines and china to other mementos and collectibles, a curio cabinet provides a way to display our precious keepsakes. Curio cabinets have been around for many years and are themselves collectible as antique furniture pieces.
The concept of the curio cabinet is thought to have originated sometime during the Renaissance period between the early fourteen hundreds and early sixteen hundreds. The Renaissance was a time of great artistic accomplishments. The preceding period, referred to as the Middle Ages, was not known as an era of free expression. The Middle Ages were a time when ancient superstitions and lore held sway over the artistic and scientific advances. The cultural advances made by the early Greeks and Romans were largely ignored and condemned.
The Renaissance Era or period of rebirth and rejuvenation saw an explosion of the arts and sciences. This was in direct contrast to medieval times. The great works of scientists such as Galileo Galilei Leonardo da Vinci were cornerstones of modern scientific thought. Great works of sacred and secular music created during the Renaissance still reverberate through the age of modern music.
As more importance was placed on preserving items of antiquity, people sought ways of safely displaying small pieces of art. As the use of glass and fine wood became more prevalent in the design of furniture, the curio cabinet evolved. Running the gamut from plain and utilitarian to the decorative, curio cabinets have become a popular piece of furniture.
The growth of the antiques market and the general interest in small collectibles has helped make the curio cabinet an almost indispensable piece of accent furniture. The most common design for modern curio cabinets consists of a cabinet with shelves enclosed most often with glass. With one or more doors, a curio cabinet can vary in size. Many modern curio cabinets include interior lighting. Soft lighting can have the effect of enhancing the look of your collectibles.
Many curio cabinets include a mirror in the rear of the cabinet. The mirror backing adds a feeling of depth to the items on display. Combined with the right lighting effects, the items on display take on a very rich and decorative look. The type of shelving used in the design can also the appearance of small curio items and other collectibles. Glass is a popular choice for curio cabinet shelves especially when lighting is used. Glass shelves allow the light to flow from shelf to shelf.
Shelves are an important feature of most curio cabinets since the spacing of the shelves will often determine the sizes of the collectible items you wish to display. Curio cabinet shelves can be found in two common configurations. Fixed shelves can limit the size of the collectibles since the shelves cannot be moved to accommodate larger items. A more practical approach may be to choose a curio cabinet that features shelves that can be adjusted.
Most of us are familiar with curio cabinets that are designed as freestanding pieces of furniture. Another popular style, though not seen as often, is a wall curio. The curio cabinet mounts on the wall and is generally smaller than a freestanding model. Just as with their freestanding cousins, wall mounted curio cabinets may have features such as lighting, glass shelves and shelves that be adjusted.
Curio cabinets can be almost as ornate and collectible as the items they are intended to display. Antique curio cabinets from the as far back as the seventeenth century are highly collectible. Modern curio cabinets made from fine hardwoods like oak, ash, walnut and cherry are also in big demand. Many high end accents such as leaded crystal glass, beveled glass, and solid brass hardware add to both the beauty of the cabinet and to the cost. Fine cabinetmakers across the world have produced some lovely one of a kind curio cabinets.
Like the wall mounted curio cabinet, the corner curio cabinet saves wall space. Corner curios fit nicely in the corner of the room and often afford more space than the average upright curio cabinet. Corner curios can be somewhat deeper than most other curio cabinets.
Even though curio cabinets are specially designed pieces of furniture, other types of cabinet furniture are often used for the same purpose. Many different styles of hutch style cabinets are used to house and display collectible items. There are styles of hutches that have many of the same features found in traditional curio cabinets. Glass doors, lights, and adjustable shelves found in many hutches allow you display and show off your precious and valuable collectibles.
Curio cabinets are not always just rectangular boxes. Many designs feature sweeping curves with flat backs. Other styles of curio cabinets are designed to be placed in the center of a room. One of the advantages of this style is that it provides a three hundred sixty degree view of the curio items. While they may not be practical for the average home, four sided curio cabinets are sure to be the center of attention and a wonderful conversation piece.
A well constructed curio cabinet will have wood joints and doors that are tight enough to limit the intrusion of dust and dirt. Even the best home curio cabinet will not keep out all of the dust and your collectibles will need to be cleaned occasionally.
A quality curio cabinet is necessary have item of furniture, whether you collect fine porcelain china or just want to display some precious family heirlooms.