Some of the objects found in Carmelo’s cabinet are easily recognizable such as buckles, buttons, or rusty nails. Others present more of a challenge to identify. Text inscribed on these objects sometimes helps, such as a patent date or number that can be looked up on the internet. The process of sorting through a collection and identifying these kinds of objects can rely heavily on the internet as a resource. Some of the objects in this collection took quite a bit of time and collaboration to figure out what they might be. An example coems from this object:
This mystery object had us stumped for nearly a year. Suggestions were thrown about as to what it was, including a part of a light fixture or lantern, some kind of whistle or other musical instrument part, a decorative element from a curtain rod, etc. It was not until an interested fellow graduate student suggested it was some kind of stopper based upon the porcelain base that we got on the right path. This path led us to the conclusion that it is a “perfume atomizer” (see the picture to the left). This interpretation explains the three odd holes in the brass portion, one for the nozzle end, one for the pump end and a third on top for a decorative element. The porcelain base is shaped like a tube to absorb the contents of the bottle.
While most of the objects from Carmelo’s cabinet have been successfully identified, there are still a few mystery objects. It is at this point that we turn to the community for help. Below are photos of five different mystery objects that we have not been able to identify. Any help would be appreciated! Does it remind you of something? Have you seen it before? Let us know in the comments or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).