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Walter Potter’s Taxidermy Book for Christmas

Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy book

I found Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy under the Cult of Weird Christmas tree this year from Slasher Betty!

A Very Merry Cult Christmas

Cult of Weird Christmas Camel skull

Cult of Weird Christmas challenge: Put a Christmas hat, bow or ribbon on something odd and tag it #CultOfWeird on Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr!

Oddities from Crystal Curios

It is always amazing to see what bizarre, unique and rare objects may be hiding in someone’s personal cabinet of curiosities. Here are some amazing pieces from the collection of Crystal Curios, the weirdest shop in Milton Keynes.

vintage-4-legged-duckling-taxidermy
Vintage 4-legged duckling taxidermy

myra-hindley-christmas-card
A Christmas card from Myra Hindley, the “most evil woman in Britain.”

adam-rouilly-half-skeleton
Adam Rouilly half skeleton

jenny-haniver
Jenny Haniver

Follow Crystal Curios here: facebook.com/CrystalCurios

Send photos of your collection or prized oddities to: info@cultofweird.com

Death: 10 Macabre and Fascinating Books

I embarked on a mission to create a simple list of “weird” books that would look great (and possibly frighten guests) on your coffee table. Instead I accidentally assembled a rather profound exploration of humanity’s most primal anxiety: death.

As far as anyone can tell, no one has ever actually lived forever, be it physically or spiritually. However, that does not end our tireless efforts to keep death at bay, or the eternal struggle to accept our seemingly inescapable fates.

These books delve into the science of immortality and the veneration of death, a macabre look at the dark side that exists in the desperate pursuit of life.

Related

Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs

Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs by Paul Koudounaris
Author Paul Koudounaris uncovers the bizarre history of Europe’s exquisitely jeweled catacomb saints, remains thought to be of early Christian martyrs unearthed in the labyrinthine tombs discovered beneath Rome in 1578. After the Protestant Reformation lead to the destruction of holy relics, the bones were reassembled, decorated lavishly and put on display.

Get Heavenly Bodies right here.

Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy

Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy
Walter Potter was a Victorian taxidermist who crafted whimsical scenes with kittens, birds and other critters from the English countryside. For years his collection drew visitors from all over the world, until it was auctioned in 2003 and scattered. This book may be the only way the collection will ever be seen together again.

Get Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy right here.

Stop Worrying! There Probably Is an Afterlife

Stop Worrying! There Probably Is an Afterlife by Greg Taylor of The Daily Grail
I have long been a follower of Greg Taylor’s work over at The Daily Grail. In his new book, he explores the history of research into the survival of human consciousness, from the beliefs of Victorian spiritualists to cutting-edge scientific studies.

Stop worrying now by grabbing your copy of the book right here.

Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses book by Bess Lovejoy
Sometimes death is only the beginning. Author Bess Lovejoy crafted a fascinating book tracing the true adventures of historical celebrities, or at least pieces of them, after they met their various fates.

Get Rest in Pieces right here.

Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy

Still Life Adventures in Taxidermy book by Melissa Milgrom
Melissa Milgrom digs into the often misunderstood world of taxidermy, going into the workshops where the art is made, where museum dioramas come to blow the dust off the old stigmas.

Get Still Life right here.

Mütter Museum Historic Medical Photographs

Mutter Museum Historical Medical Photographs book
Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum is home to a macabre collection of human oddities and medical anomalies. This book showcases photos from the collection depicting Civil War medicine, ravaging diseases, deformities and psychological disorders.

Get your copy right here.

Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930

Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930
This book is a window into early American medicine, documenting the rite of cadaver dissection for medical students. These photos pierce the veil, allowing a rare glimpse into the highly exclusive inner sanctum where men cut into dead bodies on bloody tables to learn how to heal the living.

Start dissecting right here.

The Book of Immortality: The Science, Belief, and Magic Behind Living Forever

The Book of Immortality by Adam Leith Gollner
I haven’t had the opportunity to read this yet, but an excerpt about author Adam Leith Gollner’s journey to David Copperfield’s private island, where the magician claims to have discovered a fountain of youth, definitely caught my attention.

Discover the secrets of immortality right here.

Cabinets of Curiosities

Cabinets of Curiosities book
Cabinets of curiosities began as rooms of wonder or wunderkammer, amazing collections of weird and rare natural history relics, religious artifacts and works of art assembled by intellectuals and royalty.

Get Cabinets of Curiosities right here.

The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses

Empire of Death by Paul Koudounaris
The first offering from Paul Koudounaris, the photos in this book explore the religious sanctuaries where death was put on display – enormous ossuaries decorated with human bones across the globe.

Get Empire of Death here.

12 Weird Things Available to Buy Right Now

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that weird, hard-to-shop-for family member who collects skulls, bugs and taxidermy? Are you that weird family member? Either way, here are some amazing, beautiful and bizarre oddities for sale online right now to fill your collection or complete your Christmas shopping!

Related: 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Diaphonized Mouse Christmas Ornament

Diaphonized mouse Christmas ornaments by Greg Bowser of Pandora's Box oddities shop

These diaphonized mouse specimens are handcrafted by Greg Bowser of Pandora’s Box using a chemical process that leaves the soft tissue clear and dyes the skeletal system a deep pink color. Available in extremely limited edition right here.

Pandora’s Box has more diaphonized specimens and other oddities in their Etsy shop.

19th Century Trepanation Tool

Antique Victorian trepanation tool from Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities

A trephine was an early medical tool used to drill holes into the skulls of patients with various brain disorders or inter-cranial diseases. Archeological discoveries of cave paintings and trepanated human skulls suggest the medical procedure has been in use since prehistoric times.

This 19th century trepanation tool is available right now from Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities. You can find more weird things on their Facebook page and Etsy shop.

Hatching Egg Taxidermy

Taxidermy bird hatching from an egg by Divya

A taxidermy bird hatching from an egg on a brass stand by Divya! Available right here.

More in her shop: Friends Forever Taxidermy

Dissected Piglet Wet Specimen

Dissected piglet wet specimen from The Weird and Wonderful

A dissected piglet specimen preserved in a jar with formalin available right here.

More natural history specimens at: The Weird & Wonderful

Deluxe Feejee Mermaid

Deluxe Feejee mermaid from The Evolution Store

A deluxe replica of PT Barnum’s original Feejee Mermaid sideshow attraction available right here.

See more at: The Evolution Store

Skeletonized Graphium Weiskei Butterfly

Skeletonized Graphium Weiskei butterfly by Kevin Clarke of Bug Under Glass

This Graphium Weiskei butterfly prepared by Kevin Clarke of Bug Under Glass has been half skeletonized, a process that removes the scales of butterfly wings to reveal the architecture and membrane beneath. This museum-grade specimen is available here.

More bugs on the official Bug Under Glass Etsy shop and Facebook page.

Mini Shrunken Heads

Mini shrunken heads from The Evolution Store

These ghoulish shrunken head ornaments are available right here.

See more at: The Evolution Store

Galaxy/Space Hand-Painted Coyote Skull

Galactic coyote skull hand painted by Divya

Coyote skull hand-painted by Divya from real NASA photos. Available right here.

More in her shop: Friends Forever Taxidermy

Esodermy Sheep Head

Esodermy sheep head taxidermy by Sarina Brewer of Chimera Studios

This is a real sheep head preserved by Sarina Brewer of Chimera Studios using modern taxidermy chemicals and freeze-drying to preserve musculature and bone structure. It is available right here.

See more in the Chimera Studios Etsy shop and Sarina’s Facebook page.

Freeze Dried Bat

Freeze dried bat from The Evolution Store

Freeze-dried Cynopterus fruit bats from Indonesia preserved in sleeping position available right here.

See more at: The Evolution Store

Blooming Sparrow Taxidermy

Blooming sparrow taxidermy by Divya

A taxidermy sparrow with real dried flowers and Swarovski topaz eyes by Divya available right here.

More in her shop: Friends Forever Taxidermy

Taxidermy Rhino Head

Taxidermy rhino head

A happy-looking taxidermy rhino head mount from The Weird & Wonderful.