Puzzle Ball – China, early 20th century

Look closely. Can you see the ten different balls of this puzzle? This puzzle ball is an amazing piece of craftsmanship. Hard carved from a single piece of ivory, each ball is individually carved and enclosed within another. The outermost sphere is the most intricate with beautifully carved rosettes. You can solve this puzzle by… Continue reading

E.T. Action Figure – 1982

Did you know that when it was released in 1982, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial surpassed Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time? It held onto that record for eleven years! This action figure perfectly captures the adorable spirit of the alien which won the hearts and minds of Hollywood and the public… Continue reading

Amethyst Geode – Collected from Uruguay

The South American country of Uruguay is notable for its rich, high-quality gemstones sought after by collectors worldwide. Many geological mines there still operate, producing some of the finest examples of amethyst in the world. Amethyst is a semi-precious gemstone which occurs in geodes, like this one, formed by volcanic eruptions. The largest amethyst geode… Continue reading

Menorah – Eastern Europe, ca. 19th century

Featuring the Lions of Judah, this menorah was cast from three pieces of brass. During the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, the nine branches of the menorah are lit during this festival of lights. The Lion of Judah is a familiar symbol in Judaism, and came to signify the blessing, majesty, and protection of the Jews,… Continue reading

Keel-Billed Toucan – Collected from Belize

One of the most colorful of all the toucans, the keel-billed toucan is best known for its oversized bill and vibrant feathers. Even though it looks heavy, its banana-shaped, brightly colored beak is actually very light. It is hollow and made of protein supported by thin rod-like bones. When they sleep, toucans turn their head… Continue reading

Hafted Ax – Colorado Cliff Dwellings, ca. 1200-1300

Held by 20 inch leather thongs to a wooden handle, this granite stone ax is a wonderful example of craftsmanship and function. Early indigenous groups in North America worked extensively with wood to build houses, temples, fences, and other structures. They developed handled tools which allowed them to work with large pieces of timber for… Continue reading

Striped Skunk Collected from Missouri

An animal that needs no introduction! Instantly recognizable for their signature coloration as well as their foul smelling defense system, the striped skunk is found throughout the United States and southern Canada. The fluid that skunks spray when upset or threatened can cause temporary blindness and pain if sprayed in the eyes of a potential… Continue reading

Surgical Amputation Set – Ca. 1850

During the American Civil War, surgeons became all too familiar with using this particular set of tools. Of the wounds recorded during the war, more than 70% were to the extremities, with amputation the most common operation of the Civil War surgeon. This surgical set contains most of the instruments needed for battlefield surgery: long,… Continue reading