The Cabinet of Curiosities


A series of fascinating displays are planned by Frome Museum to celebrate local collectors and collecting.

Frome resident Tony House has the last Cabinet of Curiosity display of the year showing some of his wonderful fossils and minerals.

Tony grew up in Frome and built up one of the finest collections of minerals from the Mendip Hills.  His interest in the natural world started at an early age and continues today.  He is a self-confessed otterholic, is part of Somerset otter group and leads the otter surveys in Frome.

Tony’s curios will be displayed again on the weekend of  Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December (Christmas Independent Market) when we will be open.

The museum is offering members of the public who collect natural history objects, including bones, fossils, minerals and archaeology, the opportunity of displaying their treasures for one month in the museum.  The museum will provide an attractive and secure space and help with labels.

A different collector is featured each month alongside examples of objects from their own collection.  The collectors will also provide a narrative that describes their choice of objects and why it is important to them.  These displays in a glass tower are in additional to Frome Museum’s existing programme of exhibitions.

Simon Carpenter, volunteer curator says, “The Cabinet of Curiosity continues to delight our visitors and provides an ever-changing window on other people’s collections and their interests.  Frome Museum is keen to continue this but needs more people to step forward to offer to loan some of their treasures and to say a few words to accompany them.  It might be something that schools are interested in – either individual children or groups of children can offer an object to display.  The museum will put the display together so this will make it very easy for people to participate”.

If you have a natural sciences collection, or you know someone who does, please contact us at the museum in person or by phone or email.

The theme of the displays will be the natural world with particular emphasis given to rocks and fossils, archaeology and nature.

People collect things for lots of different reasons, sometimes for an academic interest, but for others the motivation to collect may be less intellectual.

They may just like the shape or colour of an object or the way it feels in the hand.  Some people amass vast collections while others are content with a scattering of objects on the window-sill or mantelpiece.  And for some, the interest in collecting started at a young age often encouraged by parents, friends and visits to their local museum.

The displays at Frome Museum will reflect this collection diversity and tease out some of the stories behind the collections and the people who collected them.


Tony House