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MODERN ANTIQUES

September 20, 1793
Origin: England, London
Framed H: 13 9/16" Framed W: 15 3/4"
Black and white line engraving with period hand color
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1991-31
The lower margin reads: "MODERN ANTIQUES/ London Publish'd as the Act directs Sep.r 20 1793 by T. Prattent 46 Cloth Fair West Smithfield"
Label:By the late 18th century, exhibitions of curiosities were quite popular. This satirical print shows such an exhibit with its preserved reptiles in jars, a crocodile, birds, insects, and an ancient stone relic.

Founded by Daniel Bowen in 1795, the Columbian Museum in Boston housed a vast collection of artworks, wax figures, and natural specimens. This advertisement informed the public about what they would encounter upon visiting the museum, including, “a great variety of Natural & Artificial Curiosities; among which are, Upwards of 200 American and English Birds, Beasts, Reptiles and Insects.”