A Magic Cabinet is your access into a world of contemporary wonders
From the sixteenth century, magic cabinets or cabinets of curiosity or Kunstkabinetts were produced as some of the most expensive, exclusive and expertly crafted pieces of furniture ever made for sovereigns and leaders such as Emperor Rudolf II von Habsburg, Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria, King Louis XVI of France, and King Frederick William II of Prussia.
Α sensational infatuation with magic cabinets was sweeping across Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. These were collections of extraordinary, strange, exotic, wondrous or unusual elements that reflected a collector’s vision. Being affluent and wordly-wise, they passionately accumulated in their collections anything from the natural world (for example, animal horns or teeth, fossils, peculiar plants and rare minerals) or handmade objects that satisfied their philosophical, artistic and scientific curiosity. Some scholars argue that those magic cabinets were in fact "museums of a personal narration of experiences and knowledge" capturing the temperament, personality and aesthetics of the individual collector, classifying his emotional connection with the world and nature.
The elaborately decorated doors of such enchanted receptacles would open to reveal delightful music boxes, hidden partitions and drawers in which to secret treasured objects. Cabinets of curiosity, which were sometimes in effect actual rooms, became popular with wealthy collectors as cocooning retreats in which they could contemplate and admire their treasures from the realms of natural history, ethnography, religion and archaeology.
These were the harbingers of what we know as museums but instead of affording access to everyone, these adored collections were the enchanted privilege of their owner.
The site is inspired by an actual Italian painted cabinet made in around 1760 with Rococo decoration depicting Greek and Persian figures from antiquity but executed in the spirit of Chinoiserie. This style was inspired by the West’s obsession with the East in part due to its exotic products such as spices and teas. It was from this cupboard that my mother would dispense small gifts to all of us at the start of the summer.
Every time the cabinet opened, entrancing scents would envelop the room transporting me to a sensory wonderland. The range of these items, was a lavish one. Antiquated first aid kits casually placed next to faded photographs, miniature soaps moulded like fruits, aromatic but too slippery to grasp, bath potions, rich beauty creams, damask decorated Florentine note paper and embossed cards, sharpened pencils and fanciful pens, a wooden top painted with bands of vivid colour and imbued with cedar oil to perfume a closet, were all lodged together.
A Magic Cabinet is a unique, multi-platform experience for people who seek to discover the most exquisite, precious, eclectic and unique products from selected producers and designers. It is curated by Eugenia Chandris, an executive of the hospitality industry, author and blogger for the HuffPost and co-founder of its Greek edition.
A Magic Cabinet is the ultimate online shopping & blogging destination for gastronomy, distillations, beauty, grooming, home, style, stationery and pet accessories and bespoke. Here you can discover and supply with all of those modern extraordinary elements that will make up your personal magic cabinet, ensuring a more inspiring and delightful everyday life.
A MAGIC CABINET...
A HOLISTIC EXPERIENCE
ECLECTICISM FOR ALL
It is also a special place for bringing together influential trendsetters, tastemakers and curators telling their personal stories behind their favorite unique products and experiences. Moreover, on A Magic Cabinet local producers will talk about distinct local or regional traditions that shape their products, echoing the many different cultures, traditions, ecologic backgrounds and historic developments surrounding their life and work. Thus, A Magic Cabinet aims to elevate a special curating and shopping experience into a holistic approach that delves deep into the anthropological realm of home, style and culture. It offers a selection of premium and scarce products selected from their quality, revealing that value does not always have a high price tag.
Visit, discover, feel, see and shop on A Magic Cabinet