M gave me this 3D printed skull with the glass dome to protect it. It’s so intricate and beautiful, and definitely one of the more artistic items we have in our collection.
The skull and dome are from one of our favorites, Evolution.
3D Printed Skull
A plastic, ornate model skull in a glass dome with a wooden base.
Size: skull 3″ long x 2 1/2″ wide x 2 3/4″ tall, dome 5 1/2″ wide x 6″ tall
From: Joshua Harker- Etsy
Price: skull $50-$100, dome $20-50
Bloodletting was the most common medical practice for centuries. It involved cutting the skin to let blood flow from the body, and it was used for a wide variety of ailments, from acne to epilepsy to smallpox. It was based on the idea that there were four humours of the body: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Diseases were thought to be the by-product of having an imbalance of humours, most commonly blood, because it was thought to be the most dominant of the four. Bloodletting was therefore used to try to balance the humours and heal patients.
There were multiple ways to drain blood, such as using simple blades, leeches, or a scarificator. A scarificator was a spring-loaded mechanism that would be held against the skin and would snap the blades out and back in. The picture above of a metal box is a scarificator. The metal tube with spikes is an artifical leech, which would puncture the skin.
Quail is a collective name for many species of mid-sized birds in the order Galliformes. There are Old World quails and New World quails, which are two different families (Phasianidae and Odontophoridae, respectively). They are kept as pets, hunted for food, or used for their eggs.
We unfortunately do not know what species of quail we have, but it is cute!
A common kind of bird preserved in a glass jar.
Size: 1.5″ diameter x 3.25″ tall
From: Black Bear Bath Salts – Etsy
A Daruma doll (sometimes called a Dharma doll) is a round and hollow paper-mache doll modeled after the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, Bodhidharma. It is considered a kind of good luck charm to the Japanese; they also symbol perseverance. Their typical color is red with white, blank eyes. When you receive a Daruma, you are supposed to fill in one eye when you set a goal for yourself, then the other eye when you have fulfilled it. Looking at the one-eyed Daruma is supposed to remind you of your goal and convince you to keep working towards it.
Daruma dolls are traditionally used for a year, then are brought back right after New Year’s Day to the temple they were purchased from for a ritual burning, called the Daruma Kuyo. Then a new one is purchased for the next year.
Japanese Paper Daruma
A traditional paper-mache doll used to set and reach goals.
Size: 5″ wide x 5″ deep x 6″ tall
From: Mitsuwa Marketplace
Chalcosoma caucasus is also commonly referred to as a giant scarab beetle or atlas beetle. The atlas beetle is actually Chalcosoma atlas but they are both in the family Scarabaeidae. The caucasus beetle is one of the biggest insects in the world, with the males often measuring over 4 inches long. The males are the only ones with horns, which are used to fight other males over the females of the species.
Personally I don’t like bugs but it’s a great addition to our collection anyway!
One of the largest insects in the world, found in Asia
Size: 4″ long x 1.5″ wide x 1″ tall
The pictures I included are of a polar bear skeleton, a grizzly bear, a cave bear skeleton, and a chart to show how big the cave bear was.
While we’re not too picky on what kind of bear, it would be really cool if we one day could get our hands on a cave bear skeleton or fossil! The cave bear went extinct about 27,500 years ago. Cave bears are most closely related to brown bears, with a last common ancestor dating to 1.2 to 1.4 million years ago.
Hopefully one day we’ll have a cave bear, but before that we’d love to acquire another species of bear skeleton too!
Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. It is most common in China, and was first made during Western Zhou dynasty (1046-771 BCE). The snakes used are preferably venomous, such as cobras, and are sometimes infused with other species such as scorpions. Snake wine is thought to cure many things from farsightedness to hair loss, and is supposedly an aphrodisiac and general health aide. The snake venom is denatured by the ethanol so it’s ok to drink.
We love our bottle of snake wine. It’s definitely a favorite in our collection!
A snake and scorpion steeped in rice wine or grain alcohol
Size: 6″ wide x 3″ deep x 9″ tall