Sunday Spotlight: The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities

 

The Thackery T

 

All-new stories and art from the doctor’s wondrous collection.

After the death of Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead at his house in Wimpering-on-the-Brook, England, a remarkable discovery was unearthed: the remains of an astonishing cabinet of curiosities. Many of these artifacts, curios, and wonders related to anecdotes and stories in the doctor’s personal journals. Others, when shown to the doctor’s friends, elicited further tales from a life like no other.

Thus, in keeping with the bold spirit exemplified by Dr. Lambs­head and his exploits, we now proudly present highlights from the doctor’s cabinet, reconstructed not only through visual representations but also through exciting stories of intrigue and adventure.

A carefully selected group of popular artists and acclaimed, bestselling authors has been assembled to bring this cabinet of curiosities to life.

Catherine’s musings:

Thackery Lambshead was a fascinating man. I can’t tell if he was absolutely mad or if he was just brilliant. His collection is so vast and varied that it absolutely amazes me. It would probably be impossible to discover the story behind each and every piece, but I love that this book gives us a glimpse at some of them. I cannot believe how many pieces of history he has in there! Whether or not they had a significant impact on history is completely beside the point in my eyes. The story and the peek into the past is what rivets me.

The section about “Dacey’s Patent Automatic Nanny,” and the story surrounding it, is one that particularly caught my attention. After finding out that his son had been abused by his nanny for years, Reginald Dacey devoted his time to creating a mechanical nanny. I find it fascinating that 150 units were sold in six months, and that the creation might have had a longer run and become commonplace, if not for a family’s incorrect usage, leading to a baby’s death. How exciting that a single piece of Lambshead’s collection led me to an invention and an experiment I never even knew existed. The end result of the experiment was very sad, though, and I was left with a poignant regret for poor Mr. Dacey and what he had wrought.

Lambshead lent out many items in his collection to various museums. He was relieved to have the space clear (to make room for more :P), but it seems as though he wanted to retain control of the items, even when they were not in his care. It was forbidden to photograph any of the items he lent out. Opinions are varied on why exactly this is, but this seems like yet another example of his odd nature. Don’t worry, though, the book doesn’t lack images. They’re there, you’re just more likely to see illustrations instead of photographs.

I found Lambshead’s words from his diary particularly fitting for this book.

“It is never possible to completely reconstruct a person’s life from what they leave behind–the absurdity of it all, the pain, the triumphs. What’s lost is lost forever, and the silences are telling. But why mourn what we’ll lose anyway? Laughter truly is the best medicine, and I find whisky tends to numb and burn what’s left behind.”


The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities
July 1st 2011 by Eos
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