Spirit Stereoscopy

Spirit Stereoscopy

More than 100 years ago, stereoscopes offered families an opportunity to visit faraway lands and witness world-changing events in a sensory-enveloping three dimensions. Middle class viewers could gawk at the pyramids of Egypt, browse a marketplace in India, attend a lavish royal funeral or even experience the aftermath of a […] Read More

A History of the Tarot

A History of the Tarot

While playing cards first migrated from Egypt and the Far East to Europe in the late 1300s, decks which may have been used specifically for divination — or fortune telling — appeared in various parts of Italy nearly 50 years later. These Tarot decks, from the Italian “tarocchi,” started with […] Read More

Shrunken Heads

Shrunken Heads

There are few requests Arca Noctis gets more often than for authentic shrunken heads. While they are a Hollywood staple of freak shows, oddities shops and bazaars of the bizarre, they don’t come up for legitimate sale very often. Despite their rarity, most serious oddity dealers have come to know […] Read More

The Black Orlov

The Black Orlov

Fabled gemstones have a special allure for treasure hunters. From the allegedly cursed Hope Diamond to the mysterious Black Orlov, these priceless stones often come with blood-soaked back stories that only heighten their appeal — and their asking price. The Orlov, in fact, inspired The Earl of Hell’s Waistcoat, a […] Read More

Children's Cemetery

The Children’s Cemetery

What happens to our bodies after death is an ageless question that continues to pique the interest of modern man. In some ancient cultures, the living feared that the dead weren’t quite finished on earth. Stories of zombies, vampires, ghosts and worse permeate myth and folklore around the globe. Researchers […] Read More

The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste

Ghost ships are a fantastic corner of maritime lore. Sailors love to tell tall tales of empty vessels, their crews mysteriously vanished, floating across the seven seas in search of final rest. Few such ships, however, have captivated a nation’s imagination than the phantom Mary Celeste. After setting sail from […] Read More

Odd Fellows

The Odd Fellows

While the suggestion of a secret fraternal order often brings to mind the Freemasons, there have been and continue to be dozens of other, similar organizations with rules, structures and ceremonies as complex as those of the Scottish Rites. One of the oldest surviving fraternal organizations is the group known […] Read More

Victorian Hairwork Ring

Victorian Hair Jewelry

Although jewelry made from human hair has existed throughout much of recorded history, a combination of Queen Victoria’s favor and a surfeit of out-of-work wig makers led the artform to boom in the second half of the 19th century. Following the death of her husband Prince Albert in 1861, Victoria […] Read More

Trench Art

Trench Art

A persistent human trait is the ability to create beauty out of despair. In periods of war, those caught in the conflict — whether soldiers, civilians or even prisoners of war — may turn to a craft to alleviate the stress of battle while hoping to return to a sense […] Read More