Skulls and bones are an essential part of any curio cabinet. But what if you are superstitious? What if you are concerned about the dead spirits trapped inside the skull possibly haunting you?
Alternatively or additionally, you could be wary of skull collecting because you are concerned about how the skulls were obtained. was the animal treated humanely? Did it die of natural causes? Am I contributing to the senseless killing of animals just to fulfill my desire to own animal skulls?
These were concerns when I started my own cabinet of curiosities. I also wanted skulls in my collection to use as drawing reference. Photos are great references for drawing, but are sometimes limited if you want that perfect angle or you want to study different types of lighting.
Luckily there are plenty of artists that make wonderful skull replicas. Most are not quite as detailed as the real thing but will certainty satisfy the need for skulls if you are superstitious and/or concerned about ethics.
I have 9 skull replicas in my collection so far. Skull replicas are made by taking a cast of a real skull and making copies (usually out of resin). I do consider them works of art (which is another reason I prefer them over real skulls). It does take an artist to make a good quality cast and often you will find the skulls painted to make them look more realistic. In the following images, I’ll walk you through my curio cabinet from top to bottom and share where I purchased each item.
Top shelf: Cat skulls
The kitten skull was the first skull replica I ever collected. I purchased this skull from a store called Skullery. This skull looks realistic, but you don’t care for realism and love color, she also casts skulls in vibrant colors.
Shelf two: Bird skulls
The cat and lynx skull above and these two bird skulls (kestrel and raven) are from Crimson Rich Desire. In this shop you will find a huge collection of just about every animal skull imaginable.
Shelf two: Human skull
This skull is from the Skull Shoppe. The owner of this shop boasts about two things: detail and price. These skulls are extremely detailed, are painted to look realistic, and are extremely reasonable in price considering the craftsmanship that goes into these pieces.
Shelf two: Rat skull
This rat skull is also from Crimson Rich Desire. oh and I guess I actually have two more skull replicas from her as I have a pair of black resin mouse earrings that I wear very regularly.
Shelf three: Miscellaneous
On the left is a raccoon skull by Crimson Rich Desire. (Can you tell how much I like this shop?) The skull on the right is a mystery species, and is real. I received it as a gift from my mother, despite telling her that I was superstitious. I haven’t been haunted by any critter ghosts yet so I guess I’m probably safe.
I used the raccoon skull as reference for this drawing.
Shelf four: Fetal skull
Another skull from the Skull Shoppe. This one is not quite as detailed as their adult skulls but more detailed than my animal skulls. I kinda wished that the Skull Shoppe would make animal skulls.
Interested in seeing what else I have in my cabinet of curiosities? Care to know why I enjoy collecting odd things? Curious as to what my philosophy of collecting is? I’ll expand on these ideas in future posts if anyone is interested.