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A Magic Cabinet is your way into a world of contemporary wonders

Eugenia Chandris

Memory

From the sixteenth century, magic cabinets, 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.

An astonishing infatuation with magic cabinets was sweeping across Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These cabinets contained collections of extraordinary, strange, exotic or unusual elements that reflected the sometimes obsessive vision of their collectors. Being affluent and worldlywise, these acquirers passionately accumulated anything from the natural world, like animal horns, teeth or fossils, as well as peculiar plants, rare minerals and handmade objects that satisfied their philosophical, artistic and scientific curiosity. Such receptacles were the harbingers of what we now know as museums but instead of affording access to everyone, these adored collections were the enchanted privilege of their owner showcasing their temperament.

The elaborately decorated doors of the enchanted repositories would open to reveal delightful music boxes, hidden partitions and drawers in which their owners could secrete away their treasured objects. Cabinets of curiosity, which were sometimes actual rooms, became popular with wealthy collectors as cocooning retreats in which they could contemplate and admire their treasures drawn from the realms of natural history, ethnography, religion and archaeology.

The Magic Cabinet website 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 decorative 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 children at the start of the summer holidays.

Every time the cabinet opened, entrancing scents would envelop the room transporting me to a sensory wonderland. The range of these items was lavish. Antiquated first aid kits casually placed next to faded photographs, miniature aromatic soaps, too slippery to grasp and moulded like fruits, 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, all were lodged together.

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The Summers in Chios

Every time the cabinet opened, entrancing scents would envelop the room transporting me to a sensory wonderland. The range of these items was lavish

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Postcards from My Magic Cabinet
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Discovery

A Magic Cabinet is a unique, multi-platform experience for people who seek to discover the most exquisite and eclectic 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 and blogging destination for gastronomy, distillations, beauty, grooming, home, style, stationery, pet accessories and bespoke. Here you can discover and source or connect with all of those contemporary elements that will make up your personal magic cabinet, thereby creating a more inspiring and delightful everyday life.

A Magic Cabinet is...

....the ultimate online shopping and blogging destination for gastronomy, distillations, beauty, grooming, home, style, stationery, pet accessories and bespoke

A Holistic Experience

A Magic Cabinet aims to elevate a distinctive selecting and shopping experience into a holistic approach that delves deep into the anthropological realm of home, style and culture

Eclecticism for Everyone

A Magic Cabinet offers an eclectic selection of premium and rare products preferred for their quality, thereby revealing that value does not always necessitate a high price tag

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Narration

It is also a unique place for bringing together influential trendsetters, tastemakers and curators telling the personal stories behind their favourite and sometimes unique products and experiences. Moreover, local producers will talk on A Magic Cabinet 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. A Magic Cabinet thus aims to elevate a distinctive selecting and shopping experience to a holistic approach that delves deep into the anthropological realm of home, style and culture. It offers an eclectic selection of premium and rare products preferred for their quality, thereby revealing that value does not always necessitate a high price tag.

Visit, discover, feel, see and shop on A Magic Cabinet

Eugenia Chandris

Founder

Furoshiki Gift Wrap

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