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Don Saltero's Coffee House

Displays of Curiosities became all the rage. In Chelsea the Bun House was covered with objects. Don Saltero's Coffee-house was desribed by Richard Steele in the Tatler in 1709:

'Here the Literati sit in council' the eye 'was diverted by Ten Thousand Gimcracks round the Room and on the Sieling....

On display were:

  • 'nun's stockings'
  • petrified mushrooms
  • the spider from Tarentum in Italy the bite whereof occassions madness and death and is curable only by music
  • manna from Canaan, it drops from the clouds twice in a year in May and June, one day each month
  • Pontius Pilate's Wife's Chambermaid's Sister's hat
  Chelsea bun house after hogarth Chelsea Bun House after Hogarth

Even Chelsea's famous Bunhouse was festooneed with antiquities and curiosities.



Updated 4th March 2012

Lecture by Kevin Flude - prepared for 'Creative Practice in Narrative Environments'

MA course at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design & developed for University College Worcester

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