The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Micro Submissions!

Jeff VanderMeer • August 16th, 2010 @ 10:49 am • News

Note: Deadline of Sept. 7th. See below the cut for more information.


(Not the cover–just the cover of the original proposal.)

Cabinets of curiosities (also known as Wunderkammer, Cabinets of Wonder, or Wonder-rooms) were encyclopedic collections of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were various. Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities. — From Wikipedia

The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, edited by Ann and me, will be published by HarperCollins in 2011. Plans are for an oversized laminated-boards format.

A loose sequel to The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases—among other honors, a Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award finalist—this new anthology ramps up both the art and the storytelling, with full-page art, the delights of eccentric front and end matter, “exhibit” descriptions, and a core formed of full-on short stories. (The book will be dedicated to Kage Baker, who contributed to the first volume.)

Contributors will include Mike Mignola, Greg Broadmore, China Mieville, Holly Black, Naomi Novik, Minister Faust, Alan Moore, Cherie Priest, Michael Moorcock, Tad Williams, Jake Von Slatt, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Jeffrey Ford, Gio Clairval, Garth Nix, Stepan Chapman, Michael Cisco, Will Hindmarch, Ekaterina Sedia, Reza Negarestani, Lev Grossman, Ted Chiang, Carrie Vaughn, Kelly Barnhill, Mur Lafferty, Helen Oyeyemi, and several more. John Coulthart will be doing a lot of art for, with additional work by Jake von Slatt, Eric Orchard, Yishan Lee, Eric Schaller, and others.

Unfortunately, the specific nature of the fiction being commissioned doesn’t allow us to have a standard open reading period.

HOWEVER, we are having an open reading period, starting today, for a micro-fiction section in the back of the anthology, which will consist of a list, with descriptions, of items from Dr. Lambshead cabinet that are not described in the stories. Here are the rules.

(1) Entries should take this form:

ITEM NAME. Description. – Your Name

For example:

TESLA’S SHINBONE. Preserved in amber, this electricity-producing relic from the famous eccentric scientist was first acquired by Dr. Lambshead in 1945 while on a trip to London. Etc. Etc. Etc. – Jeff VanderMeer

(2) Entries must be no longer than 100 to 150 words, and posted in the comments section of this post. They do not have to mention Dr. Lambshead specifically. They should be PG13, tops.

(3) You must include your email address in the appropriate comment field when you post so we can contact you if we would like to publish your entry.

(4) Steer clear of creatures in bottles and obvious Steampunk devices, as existing fiction for the anthology already covers these elements thoroughly. We can’t divulge all of the items being written about in the stories proper, but some overlap is acceptable.

(5) A high level of writing and imagination is expected for these entries, and we also expect that they will be properly grammar/spell-checked before being submitted. In short, perform all of the quality control you would do if submitting an actual story to an anthology. Both humorous and serious entries are welcome.

(6) We will choose a percentage of the entries to appear in the anthology. HarperCollins has agreed to provide a contributor’s copy as payment for each chosen entry.

(7) Dr. Lambshead is a character owned by the VanderMeers. You may not use his persona outside of the context of this submission process. However, if we don’t use your entry, you are of course free to do with it what you will, so long as it doesn’t reference Dr. Lambshead.

(8) We reserve the right to acquire as many or as few entries as we feel work for the book. Limit one entry per writer.

DEADLINE: September 7, 2010. If we want to use your piece, you will hear from us by September 15. If you have questions, please post them in the comments of the previous post on this blog to keep this thread relatively free of anything but submissions.

Here is more information about Dr. Lambshead’s cabinet.

After the death of Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead in 2003 at his house in Wimpering-on-the-Brook, England, a long process of discovery followed for those assigned by his estate. For one thing, the great man’s house was in a catastrophic state of disarray, with letters to heads of state mixed in with grocery lists, major medical awards propping up tables or sticking enigmatically out of the many kitty litter boxes, and several thousand personal diaries shoved into random spaces in a library as shambolic as it was complete. Because of this disarray, it took caretakers until last year to unearth perhaps the most stunning find: a basement space lost under a collapsed floor, in which were found the remains of a remarkable cabinet of curiosities, much of it unfortunately ravaged by a fire or similar catastrophe.

Containing artifacts, curios, and keepsakes collected over Dr. Lambshead’s many, many decades, the remains of the cabinet of curiosities took months to unearth, document, and catalog. Several of the pieces related to anecdotes and stories in the doctor’s personal diaries. Others, when shown to the doctor’s friends, elicited further stories. In many cases, a partial catalog of items triggered valuable recollections and, working with trained artists, illustrations of items that were recovered in a damaged stage, or that simply no longer exist.

Thus, in keeping with the bold spirit exemplified by Dr. Lambshead and his exploits, we are now proud to present highlights from the doctor’s cabinet, reconstructed not only through visual representations but also through exciting stories of intrigue and adventure.

338 Responses to “The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Micro Submissions!”

  1. Christopher Burdett says:

    TEARS OF THE MERCADOR. Contained within a pouch of Arabian silk embroidered with Andalusian designs, this collection of milky translucent seed pearls is warm to the touch and sweet in scent. The first historical reference to the pouch appears in a pocketbook of a dubious transactions kept nearby, with notes beginning in 1654 AD, in a variety of hands and dialects. Each purchase shows a remarkable discount when compared to trusted texts of economic datum and range from meals to horses to estates, with the only gap occurring after the purchase of a first class stateroom on a transatlantic voyage set to depart April 10th 1912 from Southampton, England for £435. Entries begin again in 1939 with the purchase of a tin of Turkish Delight for a sixpence in Dr. Lambshead’s distinctive scrawl. – Christopher Burdett

  2. Brian Thill says:

    DANDER OF MELVILLE. Small crimson phial of biological ejecta sloughed from beard and waistcoat of one Herman M., inspector of customs. In cities prone to ship-rot and oracular drifters, admixture of same with barnacle flower was briefly regarded as a palliative for Vesuvian angers and scrimshaw-related injuries. In street parlance, more commonly referred to as “Red-burn’s Rake” or godflake. – Brian Thill

  3. Stuff I found….August 16 2010 edition « colbyjack.net says:

    [...] Thackery T Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is open for Micro Submissions.  Go Have Fun. [...]

  4. Sam M-B says:

    CONFUCIAN ABACUS. Had it survived in its entirety, this specimen of hardwood and stone might upset several long-held historical truths. Namely: its dating to the Confucian era (500 BCE) would predate the earliest historical record by 300 years; and the apparent existence of a zero placeholder in the leftmost of the remaining rods would predate the record by more than a millennium. However, though its molded wax enclosure served to preserve the device where the wax itself survived, much of the wax was melted, and the underlying wood burned, in the catastrophic fire which damaged or destroyed so much of the contents of Dr. Lambshead’s cabinet, rendering analysis of the device incomplete and so scientifically inaccurate that the Doctor’s notes on its origins, themselves hearsay from a nameless vendor at an ephemeral Shandong bazaar, cannot help but be doubted. – Samuel Montgomery-Blinn

  5. Adam Mills says:

    BEAR GUN. Long-barreled flintlock rifle, four feet butt to muzzle, made from timber that traces back to a species of hickory previously abundant in the Appalachians and long thought to be extinct. When fired, it releases a live bear as a projectile. The bear expands in a matter of seconds from the size of a musket ball to full size, at which point it latches onto its target and devours it noisily. Documents found partly scortched in Dr. Lambshead’s cabinet claim the use of the gun in the American Civil War for political assassinations. The scene of a vicious bear attack often permitted assassins an avenue for escape, while journalists and the government revised the facts of such events due to their absurd nature. A receipt wrapped around the barrel carries the signature of one John T. Ford, but the fire left the cost and date of the transaction unknown. – Adam Mills

  6. eric orchard says:

    So glad this book is dedicated to Kage Baker.

  7. Daniel R. Robichaud says:

    NOH FRAGMENT. Seven brass plates contain three quarters of a Russian transcription (date unknown) of the 14th century Noh play, “Dance of the Bound Foot.” This onna mono (“woman’s play”) was the lead piece of the fourth Noh performance for the Muromachi shogunate, and provides plentiful dances and songs for its shite (primary actor) to perform while undergoing a gender transformation through its two acts. Documented legends suggest a complete performance of “Dance of the Bound Foot” can elicit actual transformations in its cast and audience, an experience which can be undone by subsequent performance of an unidentified kyogen piece. Dr. Lambshead received these plates while in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia during his tersely recorded, “Well intentioned but ultimately ill advised journey into the coldest reaches of human experience.” – Daniel R. Robichaud

  8. Brandon H. Bell says:

    A Map of Carcassonne- Labeled in the _Provencal_ dialect, but with a smattering of Catalan, Venetian, French, and English, the map is an obvious fake to those familiar with the _Cite de Carcassonne_. The fortification is without egress –a solid wall– and encompasses a collection of anachronistic structures situated around a central amphitheater. The Basilica, also within the fortification, stands amidst a gallows field. Alongside a pallid royal crest, in Occitan, is the phrase “Find Not Yourself in Carcassonne.” It is true that close examination of the map has led to outbreaks of hysteria and subsequent disappearances. The map’s existence belies the oft inferred conceit, that these poor souls marked their geographical location within the gateless walls upon the vellum, only to run, shrieking, into the streets of a viral and impostor city. -Brandon H. Bell

  9. Chris Deal says:

    PYTHAGORAS’ THIGH. Said by Aristotle to have a golden thigh, at the time a sign of divinity, this preserved scrap of skin is actually composed of pyrite. Dr. Lambshead noted rumors that the remains of Pythagoras were capable of transporting one to the surface of the moon, where Pythagoras was said to have written a message, though this was found to be but a joke. Dr. Lambshead bought this artifact at an estate sale after the death of Bertrand Russell, and was dismayed to have paid the value in gold. -Chris Deal

  10. Nick Tramdack says:

    BULLET MENAGERIE. A clear surface two feet square and one inch in thickness, with the consistency of cold vaseline. Metal shutters on each side, labeled A and B, may be opened or closed by button-press. When the A shutter is open, a projectile fired at the pane with a velocity greater than ten feet per second will remain trapped within the medium. Opening the B shutter will cause it to exit with its original length and velocity. Inscribed by the inventor: Chas. Shallowvat, 1788.
    An inventory sheet indicates that the menagerie preserves live bullets fired by French, Prussian, Ottoman, Hanoverian, Etrurian, Swedish, and unidentified forces, which Shallowvat managed to capture during his travels in the Napoleonic wars.
    Upon acquiring the menagerie, Dr. Lambshead, perhaps believing that opening the B shutter would also re-open an infelicitous period in the history of Europe, neglected to verify its contents. -NICK TRAMDACK

  11. Cora says:

    PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN LADY by French painter Jean Jacques de la Tour, late 17th century. According to local legend, the painting depicts a mysterious woman who appeared in Calais in the winter of 1681, saved a man from the gallows and vanished in a flash of bright light soon thereafter. At first glance, the painting seems an unremarkable work by a third rate artist. Upon closer examination, however, it becomes apparent that the lady’s bracelet resembles a wrist watch and that the glimpse of a shoe peeping out from underneath her skirts looks suspiciously like a Converse trainer. Held in the vaults of the Louvre, the painting was lost during the liberation of Paris in 1944. How it came to be in Doctor Lambshead’s possession is unknown. – Cora Buhlert

  12. Lisa Morton says:

    FRAGMENT OF CAKE FOUND WITH BODY OF ANCIENT CELT. Discovered clutched in the hand of a male corpse dating back to approximately 400 B.C., preserved in a bog (which had served to drown the victim prior to preserving him) in Ireland near Oweynagat, claimed by local mystics to be a “gateway to the Otherworld”. The fragment, roughly square in shape and measuring approximately 6 centimeters to each side, was blackened on the bottom, marking its rather unlucky recipient as a sacrifice to the savage Celtic gods. The pagan ritual undoubtedly occurred on Samhain, the Celtic precursor to the modern Halloween, and the remains were discovered by a farmer in 1873, who claimed the following October 31st to experience “a fairy attack” on his home. After acquiring the piece in auction (1966), Dr. Lambshead apparently hoped each Halloween to experience similar phenomena, but was sadly disappointed. – Lisa Morton

  13. Edd says:

    EUREKA JUG. Labeled in Greek, this urn sealed with wax is alleged to contain the bath water displaced by Archimedes in his epoch moment of discovery. In September of 1947, during the Greek Civil War, it was found in the ruins of a Coptic church on the island of Ikaria. Legend has it the water retains the vibrations of any sound made in the urn’s presence, going back to the original “εὑρίσκειν”. Dr. Lambshead tested it with sensitive accelerometers, which failed to detect the subtle whispers that humans report. Sadly, the wax melted during a subsequent fire and the water evaporated. – Edd Vick

  14. Ricardo says:

    DE SELBY’s BOTTLED DARKNESS. A set of three identical bell-shaped black glass bottles, stopped with cork, with an estimated capacity of about 300 ml. each. Complemented with a short handwritten monograph by Kraus, descriptive of De Selby’s experiments with ‘black air’ and of his theories regarding night and sleep. Himself a fierce critic of De Selby (as of all things Irish), Dr. Lambshead purchased the set at a public auction while attending a seminar in Dalkey in the summer of 1964, ostensively for the pleasure of out-bidding Hatchjaw, the deselbian commentator who one too many times deprecated the good doctor’s Pocketbook. Nonetheless, the vessels were religiously kept, and remain unsealed till this day. – Ricardo Tinoco

  15. J. T. Glover says:

    THE CONGOLESE BEZOAR. This green, fibrous sphere was retrieved from a forest cave in the Congo in the spring of 1880 by Mme. Marie Lenaerts, an adventuress in pay of the International African Association. Stereoscopic examination of the fibers revealed similarities to the root of the bouma tree, though of a spongier texture, producing a small amount of glutinous fluid when compressed. Subsequent disposition was not recorded, but the object surfaced in 1973 as part of a lot of curiosa auctioned at Christie’s, where an appraiser concluded with undue haste that it was a trichobezoar cut from the stomach of a yak. Dr. Lambshead’s brief fascination with the Congolese Bezoar ended upon discovering that it remained moist even after application of open flame and multiple attempts at desiccation. — J. T. Glover

  16. Bear says:

    DRACULA’S TESTICLES. Unusual in size (they have a diameter of 10 centimeters apiece), these were a donation by Jonathan Van Helsing, Jr. It is believed that the gigantic size of the testicles is due to their use while they were still attached to the body. According to Dr. Lambshead’s hypothesis, they were used as reservoirs for the extra-blood that the vampire had to suck before travelling, so as to be able to survive a longer time without drinking blood. According to the donor, the famous vampire-hunter’s son, the testicles were a gift by the vampire’s bride to his father, in exchange for being allowed to collect and enjoy the life insurance (a fabulous sum, or so the rumours of the period said) after Dr. Van Helsing, Sr. performed the staking of the 400 years old vampire. – Horia Nicola Ursu

  17. Weirdmonger says:

    AN ANOTHER –

    [[An instrument labelled ‘another’, it’s an all purpose gouger that never quite comes up to scratch, but is useful to underpin hope in the surgeon as he or she moves relentlessly from organ to organ in the search of the easiest disease to excoriate]] as labelled.
    df lewis

  18. Paul says:

    GREEN CASE. This Victorian traveller’s case was obtained from the effects of Mr Solomon Prentiss, a forger and dealer of ‘illicit’ books: it was found after Mr. Prentiss’ immigrated to Brazil in 1938 pending his arrest. The case was found to contain one of Shakespeare’s First Folios in excellent condition, although the ink was still wet and obviously fake. The forgery was destroyed and the case sold at auction, where it was purchased by an accountant named Henry Radcliffe: while exploring the attic Radcliffe’s grandchildren opened the case and discovered one of Shakespeare’s quartos, selling it for a fortune. In 2000 Dr Lambshead had the case purchased from a Brixton charity shop with a notably well stocked section of the latest editions of Shakespeare in paperback: it has never been opened and currently props up one end of the cabinet, although it persists in being a bit wobbly. – Paul Hebron

  19. Dr. Galubrious says:

    St. Blaise’s Toad: 6x6x3 plastered and gilded wood, glass and taxidermied common toad.

    Referred to as “the miracle of the toad”, in 1431 a vision of St. Blaise appeared to a farm boy catching toads near a spring in Bromley, Kent. The Saint called upon the boy to be kind to all amphibians. After the vision, an image of St. Blaise appeared on the back of a toad near the edge of the pool. The toad was skinned, stuffed and enshrined by the church. This gilded toad philatory was decommissioned during the Calvanist reformation. The toad remained in the collection of Rawsthorne Family of Denbies Hall, Dorking, until won from Lord Rawsthorne by Thackery T. Lambshead in a game of Skittles. Glass damage in lower right corner resulting in mild molding and mouse damage to the anuran hide. Papal seal on verso, canceled promissory note pasted on side.

  20. Jake Bible says:

    CARDIOPULMINARYARACHNOHOOKAHMETER (PARTIAL) A five-armed (presumably to have originally had eight arms), gold-plated device found attached to a small piece of scorched Tarchonarthus camphoratus. While the origin and use of the device remains unknown, the wood, only known to exist in the xeric woodlands of the Southwestern Arabian Penninsula, has been used by many Arab tribes as an inhalant when burned on the campfire or in conjunction with a smoking apparatus. An inscription on the top of the device reads, “That is a very good height indeed”. A smaller inscription on the underbelly reads, “Keep your temper”. A similar device was rumored to be listed among the Reverand Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s estate at the time of his death, but no actual record could be found. –Jake Bible
     
     
     

  21. Bob Lock says:

    A BAGUETTE CIRCUIT-BREAKER – Device that has supposedly been sent back in time from a future Earth (circa 2009) which cut-in to save the world from being swallowed by a manufactured black-hole (also known as a Cern Zoo) it is rumoured that Dr.Lambshead enjoyed a ‘bruschetta’ made from said baguette. However gourmets say that only ciabatta should be used.

  22. Seth says:

    WONDERBLUSS. Just a gun. Quite boring, really. -Seth Miller

  23. Dr. Phil says:

    NEWTON’S LAST VIAL OF PHLOGISTON: Small water damaged leather case, once lined with red velvet, containing three slots, one currently filled with a sealed glass vial labeled “EXTRACT OF PHLOGISTON (1693)” whose interior is obscured with a thick, smoky film on the interior of the glass. Purported to be from Sir Isaac Newton’s alchemical pursuits, Dr. Lambshead’s notes from May of 1977 suggested that there were two vials extant when he acquired the case in exchange for a lock of desiccated hair tied with a ribbon from Sir Isaac’s deathbed. (The hair was subsequently vital in proving mercury poisoning in the great man.) Part of a second vial, which has since crumbled into black dust, was located near the case when it was recovered from the ruins of the cabinet. Speculation abounds that the failure of this second vial precipitated the disastrous fire. — Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon, Physicist.

  24. Larry says:

    SHATNER’s TOUPEE. Discovered in the Canadian wilderness in 1978, this priceless hairpiece bestows upon its owner the ability to speak with dramatic pauses and the power to sing Rocket Man like a badass.

  25. Noel Tanti says:

    Legend has it that this artifact belonged to a princess who had been abducted by an afreet. She found solace in song, her enchanting voice eliciting both delight and revulsion in the demon, who could not tolerate anything excessively beautiful in human beings. A travelling merchant heard the princess’ voice and went to inquire. The princess seduced the man, in order to make her captor jealous. Upon finding them together, the afreet cast a spell and skinned the hapless man alive, after which he stormed off. The woman quickly fashioned a glove out of the merchant’s skin, securing the seams with strands of her hair. The glove, still ablaze with magic, gave her the ability to transform herself into any kind of animal. She turned into an ibis and flew away, leaving the glove behind. The item was believed to be lost until Dr. Lambshead came across it during one of his several visits to Morocco.

  26. Noel Tanti says:

    THE AFREET’S GLOVE. Legend has it that this artifact belonged to a princess who had been abducted by an afreet. She found solace in song, her enchanting voice eliciting both delight and revulsion in the demon, who could not tolerate anything excessively beautiful in human beings. A travelling merchant heard the princess’ voice and went to inquire. The princess seduced the man, in order to make her captor jealous. Upon finding them together, the afreet cast a spell and skinned the hapless man alive, after which he stormed off. The woman quickly fashioned a glove out of the merchant’s skin, securing the seams with strands of her hair. The glove, still ablaze with magic, gave her the ability to transform herself into any kind of animal. She turned into an ibis and flew away, leaving the glove behind. The item was believed to be lost until Dr. Lambshead came across it during one of his several visits to Morocco. – Noel Tanti

  27. Cary Cornelius says:

    NOX DIAGLYPH – Found in curio shop in Southern France along with several papers of inconsistent detail that list a myriad of powers that could be invoked under certain criteria and circumstances. The pendant itself is a dark purple, obsidian like gem cut into an oval (3” in length) in a silver frame with a hinged cover like a large locket. Etched into the stone is half the silhouetted face of a beautiful woman believed to be Nox (alt. Nyx) the Roman Goddess of Night. Documents appear to be from several centuries after the trinket was made claim the stone to be a “Gorgon’s Eye”. People exposed to it have claimed headache, inability to focus, and drowsiness, but only while it was opened. Contrary to the documentation provided no supernatural or even unexpected phenomenon has occurred in vicinity to the charm while in my keeping. – Cary Cornelius

  28. Fritz Swanson says:

    AMBROSE BIERCE’S HELLBOX. Cherry-wood box. When Bierce was a printer’s devil (1858), he gathered loose lead type in this box. Any broken letters were tossed into the furnace to be recast. At the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (1864), Bierce was headshot, reporting later that he wandered Western Virginia wounded for days. Finally he passed through an abandoned village up to the summit of a fog-shrouded mountain. Beyond aboriginal pillars lay a rotting, bog-shored tarn. Bierce sank through the waters into the mountain’s heart. He awoke blood soaked in Chattanooga with his wounded comrades. He clutched the hellbox. He is said to have collected in it spent bullets from battlefields and charnel houses. The box was purchased (1923) from a peddler in Chihuahua, Mexico. Records show it contained a new fount of Caslon type cast on pica bodies (now lost). The carved interior depicts several unknown Aztec gods. – Fritz Swanson

  29. Jenn Brissett says:

    KUBLAI KHAN’S TEARS. So named, though having no actual proof that the solution can be attributed to the famous Mongol. Legend has it that Khan shed very few tears, except upon the birth of his sons where he was known to cry from sun up to sunset. The vial of yellowish translucent fluid on close examination does seem to consist of the correct salt-to-water ratio for tears, while also containing a still yet unidentified substance whose properties have been known to prolong life. A larger bottle of these “Tears” was said to have been secretly obtained by the Allies during WWII, having been captured from the Nazis who themselves had procured from an elderly shaman while on an eugenics study in Nepal. This bottle disappeared while en route to the White House, where it was said to have been intended to be used to extend the life of FDR. – Jennifer Marie Brissett

  30. James Babb says:

    SHEEP SHIFT
    After moistening the cartilage and vocal cords of this six inch section in a solution of animal fat, the rehydrated sheep’s larynx could be used to treat an Epileptic Epiglottis.
    Dr. Lambshead’s notes states the following:
    “To perform the procedure, I insert one end of the sheep’s windpipe into the patients mouth while placing my lips on the other end and blowing. The bleeting reverberation produced, then travels past the epiglottis and exits through the patients nasal cavity. Along its path, the tonal harmonics of the sheep’s bleat relieves the bilateral vocal fold paralysis by shifting the epiglottis slightly, and thus releasing it from its frozen state.”
    James Babb

  31. Eric Hardenbrook says:

    LACQUERED BRASS KOI. Originally a novelty gift given to the good Doctor as a humorous memento of his aquatic maintenance ability, this realistically articulated fish gained its space in the cabinet after proving a grand subject for a fondly remembered practical joke. Using nimble fingers and practiced sleight of hand this toy was dipped into the fish tank in question to add moisture, then tossed to the subject of the joke while stating, “Perhaps you could save him?” Various responses included the subject rushing back to the tank in horrified fashion only to watch said fish plunge directly to the bottom of the tank once rescued. Eric Hardenbrook

  32. Steven M. Schmidt says:

    TYCHO’S ASTRONOMICAL SUPPORT GARMENT. Designed by the 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) as a device to combat chronic neck and back pain caused by years of stooping over observational instruments. The garment resembles an oversized corset stiffened by stays of horn, buckram, and whalebone. The center front is further reinforced by a busk made of ivory. The garment was fastened to the body via a complicated system of leather straps. How this was done remains a subject of controversy as it is not obvious how certain straps were used. Tycho was not wearing the garment on October 13, 1601 when his bladder burst after drinking too much wine at a dinner party which resulted in his eventual death. It is not clear that the abdominal support afforded by the garment could have prevented this tragedy. – Steven M. Schmidt

  33. Christine Purcell says:

    ANTI-MATTER POWERED LIGHT BULB. This astonishing piece was a late acquisition by Dr. Lambshead in October of 2002. According to the accompanying letter, the bulb was smuggled out of Switzerland by an anonymous CERN scientist as proof that, despite media ridicule, the 26.6 kilometer particle accelerator actually could produce enough anti-matter to power a light bulb. A vacuum was created within this thick crystal bulb to prevent the antihydrogen atoms colliding with normal atoms, thus being annihilated in a spectacular radioactive display. Theoretically, the faint bluish halo emitted by the bulb will continue to cast its hypnotic glow indefinitely. Placed inside bulletproof glass, the bulb is speculated to be one of Dr. Lambshead’s most beloved pieces. – Christine Purcell

  34. Orrin Grey says:

    NEVER-BET-THE-DEVIL. Acquired at auction as part of a lot of items recovered from an antique circus train that was found abandoned on an unused spur track near [illegible], Illinois, this appears to be a coin-operated entertainment in the style of the fortune telling machines often found in penny arcades, but with an articulated devil figure behind the glass rather than a waxen gypsy or crone. The wooden figure is red-painted and holds five playing cards of a normal type. According to the instructions printed on the side of the cabinet, when a penny is inserted into the slot the machine ejects five miniature playing cards through a chute. If these cards beat the devil’s hand, then the player may receive his “heart’s desire.” The collateral being put up by the prospective player is left deliberately unclear. At the time of this cataloguing, the mechanism appears to remain untested. – Orrin Grey

  35. Jerry House says:

    THE OVERTHROP LIVING BRA. One of the last of its species, maintained in stasis in plexiglass case. Created by Dr. Herman Overthrop, one-time lab assistant to Dr. Lambshead, in a misguided attempt to take over the world. A parasitic life form with the ability to take control of the mind of whoever wears it, the living bra was created in the early 1960s to mimic a popular brand currently on the market. Overthrop’s original intent was to control half the world’s population and to maybe finally find a date. What Overthrop did not count on was that the y-chromosome-based life form enjoyed its work to the point of ignoring its original mission. Almost all of the species were unwittingly executed by feminists in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This particular specimen is a 34D. — Jerry House

  36. Scott Almes says:

    COMPACT YETI TRANSPORTATION APPARATUS. A small self feeding-and-cleaning cage procured during a 1957 excursion to the Himalayas. Dr. Lambshead traveled with an unusually tall English guide, unfavorably mentioned in his journals, who recommended he purchase the device from a local artificer. The cage is designed to allow unsupervised transport of large primates over extended travel periods while adhering to shockingly small volume requirements. Enclosed was an unfinished letter of complaint by Dr. Lambshead detailing his concern about the harness arrangement and the location of the auto-mechanical feeder. A crate of unidentified humanoid bones was found nearby. Unfortunately, the bones were poorly stored and badly damaged, making it uncertain whether Dr. Lambshead had found an extraordinary specimen to add to his collection, or the crate was used as a cost saving method of transportation for his guide after a fruitless expedition. –Scott Almes

  37. Joshua Levesque says:

    MEDUSA’S COMB. This Indian snake-charmers’ flute, or punji, arrived in the West upon Marco Polo’s return to Venice in 1295. With Polo’s subsequent arrest, the instrument entered a lengthy and dubious circuit of sideshows, street fairs, and burlesques. The Comb reappeared in 1911, when the Marchesa Casati attended a gala, infamously flaunting an ophidian-themed merkin. When the Marchesa’s companion played the Medusa’s Comb, the effect on those gathered, including the Marchesa and her curious raiment, proved to be both delightful and unexpected. Dr. Lambshead avoided at least one dire encounter with a python through use of the Comb; however, it is not clear when the curio came into his possession. Best estimates place the acquisition in 1922, during the “St. Vitus’ Dance Off” near Istanbul, where scores of belly dancers inexplicably contracted the vigorous affliction. The connection between the dancers, their affliction, and the punji remains tempting, but inconclusive. – Joshua Levesque

  38. Steve Burnett says:

    MUSIC BOX. 6.7cm square by 5.8cm walnut box, two jasper cabochons on a spring-loaded panel protruding through the front face. A brass lever underneath winds an internal spring. To play, first wind the lever, then apply pressure with both thumbs to the cabochons.

    At first the mechanism seems broken, playing a halting and irregular melody. The designer Jacob Hartzmann, a popular music composer and student of Jung’s research in apophenia, discovered a musical counterpart to Chomskyan deep language structures. Listeners report distraction and sleeplessness for 2-7 days due to the inability to ignore the broken melody that seemingly evokes every piece of music the listener has ever heard. The effect is much reduced if the listener is not holding the box: the sensation of the ticking mechanism through the thumbs amplifies the result. (Dr. Lambshead used thick gloves to insulate him from much of the melodic mental engraving.) – Steve Burnett

  39. Sean Case says:

    Parson’s Arm. Floating without suspension in a glass case, the right arm of the eccentric rocket scientist-magician was acquired during Dr. Lambshead’s sojourn to Sonora, Mexico in 1975.

    Considered lost following John Whiteside Parson’s fatal 1952 explosion in Pasadena, CA, the limb resurfaced among moon-worshipping cults in the 1960s in southern Arizona. During this period, the arm displayed an ability to levitate on its own, particularly during nights of the full moon. Starting a panic during the total lunar eclipse of 1968, the arm emitted a green phosphorescence, causing the cultists to abandon the limb out of fears of radiation. Shortly afterward, the arm came into the possession of a private collector in Mexico.

    Initially covered with runes and sigils, the epidermis deteriorated due to improper preservation techniques, revealing the skeletal structure to be composed of an as-yet-unknown metal. The cause of the arm’s properties, whether magical or scientific, remains a mystery. – Sean Case

  40. Alexander says:

    Sacrificer’s Mask-
    A piece of startling artisanship and elegance, the mask seems at first glance to be smooth-worn from a single piece of opaque topaz. Its antiquity is staggering, crafted piece-by-piece down long centuries by the Shamans of the Amazonian Ataqatl tribe. In actuality, it is devised from patches of human skin, glued together by a dark, lustrous varnish. Chemical analysis has shown the varnish to be derived from the hallucinogenic saliva of the elusive, sometimes illusory, Mescaline Snake (Caliophus Lambsheadae). Carbon analysis has shown some parts of the mask to be as old as 2500 years, some parts as young as 300. It is estimated that the skin of some 700 individuals is represented within the mask. The chin of the mask is slightly nicked, from where the last Ataqatl Shaman’s throat was opened. Initially, the mask appears expressionless, but, with time, it seems to acquire a sneer.

  41. Alexander says:

    ^^^
    -Alexander Saxton

  42. Daniel Skeen says:

    THE BOOK OF LIFE AND DEATH – At first glance, a simple leather-bound volume with only one marking – the word “You” embossed on the front. A curious property is that it appears to have an infinite number of pages, but this is not uncommon in the field of magical books. The first million or so pages resemble a history textbook, but if the book is allowed to fall open, it will land on a detailed account of the circumstances of the reader’s birth. The prior pages are increasingly specific factors contributing to said birth. The reader is discouraged from turning the page, and is especially disallowed from trying to turn to the end – the last man who did ripped a page out. He’s still trying to erase something… — Daniel Skeen

  43. S.J.Hirons says:

    A PAGE FROM ‘LE VIANDIER DE COCKAIGNE’ – A collection of 11th and 12th Century manuscripts of unknown provenance, Le Viandier was confiscated by the Vatican in 1384. One of the earliest known recipe collections, this ‘guide to rare cuisine’, whilst spare on quantifying amounts – and only sporadically legible – does seem to contain many common recipes.
    Its contentiousness arises from an entry in the papers concerning ‘Roasted Meats’: Amongst a list of tersely-worded instructions for the preparation of pork, mutton, beef, goose, duck, chicken, capons, rabbits and hares there is this: ‘FRENCH UNICORN Take a haunch of the beast and cut it up. Put all upon a spit of the creature’s own horn and cover with beef dripping and Spices. Roast over a fire in which too does burn rosemary. For a sauce boil the cleaned hooves of the silly thing in small water or wine until a syrup is made. Add berries.’
    Serve without conscience

  44. P.E. Zimmerman says:

    TEARS OF GOD — Lead cube, roughly six inches each dimension, no markings. Weight estimated to be ten times that of a solid lead cube of comparable size.

    According to Hasidic legend, in times of great suffering God cries. The tears of the Almighty fall into the ocean with a noise so loud all the world can hear. The tears released during the Sheol never fell, having been captured and sealed inside this strange artifact. Dr. Lambshead was unable to verify the contents as the container appears to be cast of a single piece, without lid, lock, or weld joints.

  45. Daniel Ausema says:

    GRAVITY SKULL. In appearance an ordinary human skull, with jaw attached, this piece is extraordinarily heavy. The material composition of the skull has resisted classification, but it mimics human bone in all but weight, as if lead could take a pock-filled, osseous form. In low light, the skull reflects an iridescent gleam, like a beetle’s carapace. There is no full attribution, but tied to the left jawbone is a paper with a quote, apparently from a poem, “His soul grew heavy / and would not leave his bones.” The poet’s name is illegible, the poem as yet unidentified, and the hand that wrote the line is clearly not Dr. Lambshead’s. Someone, perhaps Lambshead or perhaps a guest of the doctor’s, later added, “Would that my soul were a bit heavier. I keep losing it on windy days. Gets soiled. What a bother.” — Daniel Ausema

  46. Ryan Cherry says:

    DALKON SHIELD. A cowardly but ingenious little device that was used to weaken enemies of the Roman Empire. Made of iron and rope and resembling a scarab with a long tail, it was used by advance Roman scouts. Like a shield, each scout could carry one on his back. The Dalkon Shield would be placed in the headwaters of a river near their enemies. As the water would flow over it would be buried deeper until irremovable. The tailstring, rope soaked in infected blood and feces, would then work its septic infections into people serviced by the river. Once the Roman army arrived, the cities inhabitants would be weakened or worse, making conquering the city a simple task. Thought lost to the ages, a mostly rusted specimen was acquired in 1970 then lost again forever in 1974. – Ryan M. Cherry

  47. Ryan Cherry says:

    MAN-GAFF RIG. Prior to the Spanish Flu of 1918 that ravaged the country-sides, civic arguments were settled by small contained wars. The flu killed off many of the skilled warriors such that full wars were no longer economical. What arose was the practice of Manqu̩ Fights. Representatives from the villages, were fitted with Man-Gaffs, had their arms restrained, and fought to the death. Man-Gaffs were curved sharp spurs attached with a leather strap to the leg of a fighter. In many cases the fighters were chosen from those who had great unfulfilled potential but were a burden on the village which gave rise to the Manqu̩ Fights. It became a way to settle resource challenges between municipalities and culling the herd of no-account lay-abouts. The rarity of finding an intact Man-Gaff Rig is due to the rise of settling arguments, even small ones, with hand guns and attorneys. РRyan M. Cherry

  48. A.F. says:

    THE LOST ADVENT CALENDAR WIG OF GERLINE CATHRIN MAXIMILIANE, FREIIN VON SPIERSHOFFSTAD. Constructed of spun silver, bleached palomino hair, and linden wood, the wig rises four and one half feet from the crown of the head. Lost on 16 December 1876, when Freiin von Spiershoffstad was decapitated in a windmill riding accident, Dr. Lambshed recovered the object and the young Freiin’s skull while hunting for Westphalian fawn truffles with a sow named Bernhard. Though seven calendar doors are unopened at this time, the doors are to remain closed until further testing is conducted, as rumors suggest a particularly vicious species of miniature beetle swarmed the Freiin each time her mother opened a calendar door. Rumors also suggest her decapitation may not have been entirely accidental. –A.F. Lacy

  49. Chris Hass says:

    PEA OF ROYAL ATTUNEMENT. Age-dried remains of one Pisum sativum L., (garden pea). Discovered among the smoldering ruins of Sweden’s Drottningholm Castle after a devastating 1661 fire by a bastard of the Queen Dowager Regent, Hedwig Elenora. The gardens had burnt utterly, yet this solitary Pea, “greene an rounde” remained untouched “utoppe a fhaft ov funlyte,” and became a treasured family talisman. Hedwig herself kept it bedside until 1680. Through circumstances unknown, the Pea was intrinsic somehow to Charles XI’s decision to break engagement to his cousin, Juliana of Hesse-Eschwege in favor of Ulrike Eleonora, Daughter of King Frederick III of Denmark, whom he married in 1680. Assumed to be politically motivated, Charles XI’s journals mysteriously credit the Pea for “alle mynnr ov gydnyss inne wymynly felekton,” raising doubts. Annual application of one Angel Tear helps the Pea retain its luster. The Pea’s proximity-based virginity-regeneration properties are unworthy of note. – Chris Hass

  50. Ignacio Sanz says:

    ONEYROSCOPE. The Oneyroscope is a device designed by French inventor Louis Lumière after the invention of the cinematographer. His purpose was to record dream experiences, showing it on a screen like motion pictures. Lumière’s brother Auguste was the first subject of the experiment, and there is a silent movie directed by George Méliès registering all the process. In the film August Lumière is lying on his bed wearing a steel helmet in is head connected by a bunch of wires to a strange machine operated by his own brother. Behind them a silver screen is showing us what he’s dreaming: a clay pigeons flock flying underwater. On April 15, 1900, the first public demonstration of a prototype Oneyroscope was given at the Exposition Universelle held in Paris, France, becoming a huge success. Sigmund Freud, the father of the psychoanalysis, says that the Oneyroscope could be “the most revolutionary discovery in history” —Ignacio Sanz.

  51. Aaron M. Wilson says:

    HERMES’S QUILL. Said to have been created by Hephaestus for the Olympian messenger god from a feather taken off Sphinx that held Thebes captive with a riddle and won by Homer in a game of chance, this flamboyant writing tool has inspired many of the greats including Plato, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Shakespeare. Then quill went missing, and it unfortunately found its way into his hands – he who wrote “Mein Kampf.” Rumor has it that the quill’s silvery red plum and crystal nib turned black in his hateful hands. Kept locked away, out of the light, in a meter long box that never left his side. Strangely, no one knows how it came into Leon Trotsky’s possession, but he smuggled it out of Europe to Mexico. However, a late acquisition – gift really, Dr. Lambshead’s notes suggest he obtained the hermeneutical artifact from his dear friend Stephen Hawking. – Aaron M. Wilson

  52. Leah Thomas says:

    UPPER-LEFT INCISOR OF GRIGORI RASPUTIN (?) – Reputedly acquired by the venerable doctor shortly after the February Revolution, during one of his purely academic expeditions to Russian whorehouses. The tooth was extracted from the right buttock of Khioniya Guseva, the noseless, syphilitic prostitute who attempted and failed to murder Rasputin herself in 1914 in the village of Pokrovskoye. How the existence of the artifact was revealed to Lambshead is altogether ambiguous (well, perhaps not altogether), but it can be reasonably inferred that it was lodged in her person for no short period of time before she attacked Rasputin, her former lover, and left his entrails dangling. During his lifetime, Dr. Lambshead often boasted that he had “a bit of Grigori” squirreled away, and that this “bit” was not by any means going to be dismissed as a mere sea-cucumber. May countless historians be disappointed by this diminutive yellowed tooth.

  53. J.E. Remy says:

    THE SHISH DOGŪ. A small animal figurine in the form of a hound accompanied by a label, dating it from the previously unestablished Wornath-Mavai Era of prehistoric Jannat ‘Adn (although transaction records found elsewhere in the home note purchase of the item took place through a questionable theophanist in Jackson County, Missouri). When held, the figurine warms the hands, and the first sentence spoken by the holder is a phrase they remember hearing as a child. It was originally believed this object was something achronistic with the ability to send a single phrase to one’s earlier self. If true, the Sish DogÅ« could do more than the Antikythera mechanism to alter the understanding of technological development, and potentially demonstrate a sort of de-evolution in scientific advancement from an earlier civilization. Although, after several failed trials, it is now generally assumed that the figure simply causes déjà vu. – J.E. Remy

  54. Reyna Sparby says:

    HEART OF THE DEATHLESS. A fragile box of pale birch carved in exquisite relief with a parade of animal figures. Beginning from the right side and wrapping around the back to the left panel: A fox flanking a bunched and speeding hare, an eagle and duck in a violent tableau among clouds, and an egg being carried out of water by a dancing pike. The face of the box is almost entirely taken up by a skeletal latch of silver filigree and a small plate stamped with illegible Cyrillic characters. Within the box is a crudely forged needle of a material resembling lodestone, which curiously resists all ferrous overtures. The needle is bent at a sharp angle near its middle, though it shows no signs of breaking. – Reyna Sparby

  55. Cliff Pape says:

    BUCKMINSTER FULLER’S D20 – After experiencing near-suicidal depression over the loss of his daughter, Fuller gave himself over to modern wargaming, then in its infancy. Historical naval battles were a particular favorite, and Fuller’s mathematical mind devastated opponents, resulting in embarrassingly sound defeats being known as “buckfulls” to this day in some circles. In the autumn of 1947, Fuller went on a vision quest into the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville, NC. There, guided by hallucinogenic voices and armed with his Boy Scout pen knife, Fuller hand-made two 1/50th scale wooden armadas, challenging Death to a game of naval warfare. After precisely carving this twenty-sided die out of long-leaf pine amber, Fuller realized the structural and architectural possibilities that lay within the icosahedron. Returning with renewed vigor, Fuller set about creating what would become his most lasting contribution to the world, the geodesic dome. – Cliff Pape

  56. Chris Rutkowski says:

    THE FOURTH LETTER OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY (4 TIMOTHY). This remarkably well-preserved fragment of parchment was discovered by Dr. Lambshead in 1958 while exploring a small cave in a rocky region of Palestine, near where his tour bus had broken an axle. The good doctor had become lost while exploring the terrain, away from the rest of his group. The parchment was rolled tightly and sealed in a plain earthenware jar with the simple inscription: “Tim.” Curiously, upon translation, the ancient script is revealed to be mostly a list of items that Paul had asked Timothy to acquire from a merchant. For example, Chapter 1, Verse 6 reads: “QUAIL EGGS, GOAT BUTTER, NAAN and MORE PARCHMENT, BUT NO MORE FIGS, PLEASE.” Carbon dating performed by Dr. Lampshead himself dates the document at approximately 2,000 years, with arbitrary error bars. It is not known what happened to the Third Letter.

  57. Loren Wertz says:

    Ever-Spinning Top of Shah Jahan – Reportedly discovered in 1899 during the restoration of the Taj Mahal ordered by British viceroy Lord Curzon. An interior survey identified a remarkably well concealed 4’ by 8’ room containing the simple burnished silver top and other artifacts. The top spins counterclockwise upon a square brass plate bearing an inscription in Chinese. Translation yields, “Most noble Shah Jahan, change and loss come upon us but the heavens ever spin. Peace to you on your journey. Chongzhen Emperor.” Efforts to manipulate the top (i.e. removal from the brass plate, toppling, slowing or increasing spin) are unsuccessful. The top appears to be completely frictionless but unalterably affixed to the plate; attempts to touch result in the implement simply sliding off the surface without impact. The top maintains constant spin speed and orientation to plate, even when the plate is rotated 180 degrees. See also Hecate’s Carpet and Vanishing Scimitar (when visible).

  58. Asakiyume says:

    PRETTY PENNY. Copper coin, minted in 1793, featuring Liberty, hair flowing freely, on the obverse face. Bequeathed to Dr. Lambshead by his aunt Cecilia Winchester, who claimed that it has the property of always being received willingly as compensation for any desired good; she herself exchanged her mother’s complete set of heirloom crystal for it. Other transactional tales from the coin’s past, conveyed to Mrs. Winchester by the purchaser of the crystal, are included in a small notebook accompanying the coin. – Francesca Forrest

  59. Raphaël Boudin says:

    A COPY OF THE FRENCH BOOK LES FLEURS DU MAL, PUBLISHED BY AUGUSTE POULET-MALASSIS IN 1866. This is an extremely costly book, in which, at the page of the poem titled ‘‘Le Vampire’’, a nameless author had wrote in red ink : ‘‘À vous, my dear doctor, qui n’avez su soigner mon esprit. À vous toujours, my dear lover, qui êtes parti sans prévenir. À vous enfin, my dear prey, je vous retrouverai.’’ Under this awful, insane and certainly love-inspired note there is a large brown blood stain. We just know that the Dr. Lambshead had received this dedicated book by mail from France. – Raphaël Boudin

  60. A.H. says:

    PERCY SHELLEY’S RETIRED CAPONIZING SET. Percy Shelley is best known for his poetry, his politics, and his partner—Mary Shelley. But in addition to Queen Mab, Prometheus Unbound, The Triumph of Life, and his monumental A Defense of Poetry, Shelley was also a radical proponent of vegetarianism—an influence that manifested in Frankenstein’s creature living as a vegetarian in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. As part of his proto-animal rights activism, Shelley purchased, so as to remove from use and circulation, myriad of what he deemed the cruelest implements of animal husbandry. Among these is a caponizing set, consisting of a scalpel, spreader, and forceps, all machine embossed with crowing roosters on their stainless steel handles. Purportedly, his capon compassion was fueled by Mary’s research on Italian castrati while drafting Frankenstein.–Andrew Hageman

  61. Jon C. Forisha says:

    THORN OF BLACKBEARD. Presumably procured by Dr. Lambshead through various contacts in the field of autopsy, this 23 cm long thorn is said to have resided in the famous pirate’s left ribcage for the last five years of his turbulent life. The thorn is more accurately a splinter, likely cast off from the shaft of an unkempt weapon during a fight, and due to its great length it was never fully removed until after death. The splinter had become infected with gangrene, undoubtedly contributing to Blackbeard’s well-documented and abrupt mood swings. He used to publicly complain about the splinter, screaming, “I got a thorn in me ribs the size o’ the whole British navy!” but at that point most of his crewmen had resigned themselves to the fact that their captain was a madman. – Jon C. Forisha

  62. William Alexander says:

    LEATHER MASK. Resembling a fox with a bird beak and painted an unsettling shade of magenta, this molded leather mask is displayed in a glass case thirty centimeters wide and ten centimeters high. The lid is latched on the inside. No matter where the case is positioned in any given room, the empty eye sockets always appear to be staring at the door. – William Alexander

  63. Simon Ripley says:

    BOX OF HORRORS – Discovered at a garage sale in Florida, a device made of splintering material painted flamboyant, primary colors in geometrical shapes. A red metal handle is nailed to the side, an apparent compartment on the top. Scientists have deemed it too dangerous to attempt a proper examination of the device, and it now lies in a fireproof vault, buried a hundred feet below sea level in an undisclosed location, and to this day it is unknown what, exactly, lies in wait inside, and what horrors it may unleash onto our unsuspecting world (suggestions that it was just a Jack-in-the-Box were dismissed as ‘ridiculous’).

  64. Willow Holser says:

    SILENCE, ONE OUNCE. Origins unknown. Found amongst the possessions of the recently deceased Frank Hayes, thirty-four, who tragically lost his life when he stepped in front of a public bus which failed to stop. Its provenance is thought to include M. Twain, W. Wilson, and the Marquis de Sade. Handle with care, not to be administered more than one drop at a time. Silence is golden, but too much will kill you. – Willow Holser

  65. Joseph Roser says:

    DEAERATED PHLOGISTON. A one-liter glass bulb containing a colorless, odorless, tasteless, massless gas. Reacts violently with the flammable air of von Hohenheim when in the presence of flame. Restores combustibility to dephlogistated air. – Joseph Roser

  66. Mackenzie Row says:

    To My Friends, I Leave Nothing But the Hide of the Beast, Timothy Vance, 1870. Recovered from Antarctic remains of first transdimensionally aware exploratory voyage, this seminal work of inter-splices inane drivel concerning gruel and testimony to the Brethren of the Beast with moments of sheer terror and a late-Romantic age fortitude to surrender ones self to the machinations of an illuminated higher power. Features exquisite rendering of the extinct southern, savage polar bear, rumored to still inhabit the reconstituted Phoenix Plate in the rising of the reunited silents pathway 487 (see map of transreality space loop, page 280). Stone inset of Martian meteorites–authenticity verified by radiometric dating, with irregularities suggesting extracreational origin, per theory suggested by Vance himself. Rejected from esteemed auction house on grounds of sorcery and placed into the care of Sir Lambshead for the duration of pre-enlightened hegemony. Missing pages 200-250.

    -Mackenzie Row

  67. El Mailander says:

    LADY’S HAIR PIN. A long hair pin, made of silver that has been tarnished with age and slightly bent in many places. Ornamented with two blue glass beads on one end. Taken from the hair of “Dark Annie” Chapman, prostitute and victim of Jack the Ripper, by a mortician’s assistant following her death on September 8, 1888. Rumored to bring bad luck to the wearer due to the original owner’s untimely fate. Bequeathed to Dr. Lambshead in the will of one Mrs. Agatha Crowley neé Smith, private collector; London, England, 1963. -El Mailander

  68. Nathaniel Lee says:

    THE CURIOUS JAR – A most unusual relic, difficult to describe. It is primarily remarkable for its unremarkability. It lay completely unnoticed for many years in a small antique shop in the south of France until Dr. Lambshead jostled it while reaching for a stuffed medusae. He fumbled around on the floor for several minutes, seeking the item that had fallen, until he abruptly realized he was already holding it in his hand. The shopkeeper professed to know nothing of the jar or its origins. Indeed, it was most difficult to convince him to sell it as, throughout the conversation, he repeatedly forgot what item it was the Doctor wished to purchase.

    Visitors may feel free to test the properties of the jar themselves by placing a small object within and turning their backs for the count of three. Management cannot be held responsible in the event of any losses. – Nathaniel Lee

  69. Itai Rosenbaum says:

    THE DITTY – A white cassette tape, the writing on it has been scratched off. The tape contains a roughly three minute, thirty seconds song. The song will get “stuck” in a listener’s head for anywhere between a few hours to several months, depending on the listener’s mental fortitude. It has been used as a form of psychological warfare, as the Ditty has been known to drive men insane and seek to claw out their own ears. No one knows exactly which song is on the tape, for obvious reasons. – Itai Rosenbaum

  70. Bob Lock says:

    THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND

    Long before UNESCO named a site in the Gauteng Province in South Africa the first World Heritege Site, even pre-dating the discovery of a 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed “Mrs. Ples”) found in 1947 by Dr. Robert Broom and John T. Robinson, Dr.Lambshead found The Cradle Of Humankind in that area (previously known as The Cradle Of Mankind until The Feminist Movement – 3rd Wave 1990 to present day, took out an injunction). However there is controversy on the vailidity of this object (primarily by the Bauhaus School followers) as the wood has been found to come from Southern Sweden and has the name ‘ Ingvar Kamprad’ faintly inscribed into its base. The cradle now resides (flat-packed) in a vault in London as ownership is disputed by The Ikea Museum in Almhult. – Bob Lock

  71. Simon Kewin says:

    JOHN DEE’S SPECTROSCOPE. Brass optical device, supposedly constructed by Dr. John Dee around 1600. Its precise function is unknown. Although Dee wrote a folio of notes on the device, he employed a cipher that remains to be decoded. A Victorian antiquarian, Bartholomew Dee (no relation) claimed to have decrypted the text and that the device is a “spectroscope, for viewing spectres, ghosts and other denizens of the spirit world where it intersects with our own”. However, this translation has never been found and many doubt its existence.
    The device is similar to a sextant but with a great many more dials and levers around its eyepiece and upon its frame. Operating the controls alters the image in various ways : inverting it, making it darker or lighter, leeching out colour or limning everything in rainbows. To date, however, no-one has ever observed a spectre using the device. – Simon Kewin.

  72. Jessica says:

    CRUSOE’S CALENDAR. A weathered chunk of driftwood, measuring approximately 2 meters square, marked with 9,932 centimeter-long scratches. The brittle plank is rumored to have served as a rough calendar for Robinson Crusoe, circa 1659-1686. While the wood’s provenance is murky, it is known to have been held by Daniel Defoe in the 1700’s, Paul Valery in the 1800s, and, for a brief period in the early 1960’s, by Walt Disney. One purported quality of the “calendar” is that, when used daily, it forces the owner to experience time more slowly. When owned by Valery, its mere presence plunged the poet into a decades’ long retreat from writing, which was only broken when he flung the wood from Le Pont Neuf bridge in Paris. The calendar was donated to the Lampshead cabinet anonymously. – Jessica Fox-Wilson

  73. Dave Fragments says:

    White Marble Cheese Plate
    Hand carved. Reputed to be marble remnant from Da Vinci studio. Carried by the Cheese Kavalier leading the procession for Duchess Silvia of New Claysburg’s 21st birthday. The Cheese Kavalier died of six parries with an old-fashioned hunting knife to his torso. They say you can still hear her plaintive cry echoing across Calder Benson Boulevard in the village of West Hovingshire. “Will no one be my Kavalier? The evening must have a Kavalier to deliver my gift to the party.” Five of her followers stepped forward like modern-day Sir Walters and retrieved the marble heavy sack full of Suzie’s Brand Cream Cheese. Duchess Silvia lead the musicians in a few soft chords of “requiescant in pace” and “In paradisum deducant te Angeli” for the deceased. Order and harmony restored, she celebrated her twenty-first birthday with cheese on this marble dish. – Dave Fragments

  74. Elyse says:

    PICKMAN’S MODEL. Various tales suggest how this faded, black-and-white photograph came into the Doctor’s possession. Some claim it was purchased from a Boston cab driver for 42 cents in 1927. One acquaintance swears blind that the somewhat ragged image was found among a pile of abandoned maps and take-out menus at an unnamed T station in the late 1970s. Whatever its origin, the peculiar photograph depicts a hideous, scaly, drooling creature that appears to be devouring a man. – Elyse Mancuso

  75. A quick Saturday roundup says:

    [...] Comment on Ecstatic Days with a crazy artifact and get it published in a book by China Meiville and Naomi Novik. [...]

  76. Gregory Norman Bossert says:

    PRE-INCAN VESSEL FLUTE. Ceramic, in the shape of a sea-snake wrapped around four hollow spheres representing phases of the moon. Possibly Chimú 10C. Acquired by Dr. Lambshead from the estate of celebrated explorer Lord Rowell-Towerhall. This multichamber flute plays a different set of overtones each night. A journal, attached but badly damaged, states, “Like the tides, the tones produced seem to shift with the procession of the Moon, and Sun […] When played consecutively, e.g. on piano, these tones create an uncouth but compelling music […] which seems to be building to a primitive cadence […] On first new moon of the new year, [the flute] failed to produce a musical tone, but rather a burbling hiss, unsettling to the ears and mind.” The journal ends here, due to Rowell-Towerhall’s untimely demise; accounts disagree on whether the cause was drowning or snakebite. – Gregory Norman Bossert

  77. Gerrit says:

    SEED OF THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT – Single seed encased in glass. The remains of the fabled fruit said to have been on offer by the devil himself. Dropped off at Dr. Lambshead’s home anonymously, and accompanied by a note signed “L.” explaining it’s contents. It is unknown if the seed is able to germinate. – G.M. Theule

  78. Jacob Duarte Spiel says:

    MADAME MONROE’S NOSTALGIA WINE (SUMMER) – From the label: “Madame Monroe’s Zora City winery is proud to introduce this year’s installment in our “Summer Nostalgia” wine series. With the nose of a young lover and the taste of homemade lemonade, this wine brings out reminiscences appropriate for any occasion. A fine aperitif for old diaries or childhood films but it is best enjoyed with red meat and good friends. Vintage: Early Adulthood.” Zora City never appears in the Doctor’s academic writings, but careful perusal of early personal diaries yielded a brief, apparently intoxicated paragraph devoted to both the city and a young girl/citizen. As for the wine, the bottle had been opened and resealed with wax. Only half of a glass appears absent. – Jacob Duarte Spiel

  79. Paul Kirsch says:

    MUCH SMALLER CABINET – This miniature cabinet is a duplicate of Dr. Lambshead’s in nearly every respect, a 1/1000th scale model incorporating scorch marks and splintered frame down to the smallest detail. A single variation: the door remains locked. The Doctor dropped the diminutive key in his squid tank and failed to retrieve it before Longfellow’s greedy tentacles snatched it from view. Peering through the keyhole–itself no wider than the head of a pin, with no room to spare for dancing angels or other divine revelers–one can glimpse a mere hint of the curios stored inside. Perhaps someday a small-minded scholar of all things underestimated will write a short story seeking to describe and understand the dwarf contents. – Paul Kirsch

  80. Karen L. Newman says:

    KELVIN STONE WITH DIARY. This stone made of white quartz was first discovered on the banks of the Lough Derg in Ireland by William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. Lord Kelvin used the stone to enter St. Patrick’s Purgatory to determine the reality of Hell. Afterwards, he became a devout Christian. Lord Kelvin used his excursion into the cave to coin the term ‘absolute zero’ as the temperature offsetting the heat of Hell. The stone is cold to the touch and can indicate evil on a sliding scale of white for pure souls to blood red for demonic souls. Beneath the stone is a red leather diary listing hundreds of people and their evil indexes. Notables listed include Queen Victoria, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, and Dr. Lambshead himself. – Karen L. Newman

  81. Benjamin Jacobson says:

    THE GOLDEN FLASK OF AL HEST. A 200ml flask unremarkable except for it’s composition, 24 carat gold, and the circumstances of its discovery. A scientific expedition found the flask in a Himalayan cavern, in the hand of a frozen corpse (named Al Hest by the flask’s worn engraving). The team uncovered the cause of death, a large hole bored outward through the body and into the ground beneath. Investigation of the hole’s depth was inconclusive as the longest rope inserted (100m) never found a bottom. The cave was flagged for further inspection but upon return the team failed to locate its position, finding instead a wall of warm, igneous rock. Though the story and the flask are inseparable, the flask itself has been stolen numerous times due to its practical value. Legitimate ownership is hard to determine as is the method by which it ended up in Dr. Lambshead’s collection. – Benjamin Jacobson

  82. Benjamin Jones says:

    ORACLE IN AMBER. Discovered on Sherbro Island, the Oracle in Amber is a Cretaceous dragonfly the size of a grown man’s fist. Ezra Bulkworthy came into possession when his father—palaeontologist Samson Bulkworthy—expired from malarial fever and sabre wounds. A curious aspect of the Oracle is its tendency to buzz loudly when placed on certain selections of text. Ezra applied this quality by placing the amber on racing forms. He would place money on the horse whose name caused the relic to vibrate. In this way he won tidy sums in three races where the horse finished first. To his misfortune, the next three horses also “finished first” by dying midrace. His bad luck came to a head when he left the Oracle on a chain letter addressed to him. Following Ezra’s death in a milk truck accident, Dr. Lambshead purchased the item at a morgue inventory sale.

  83. Benjamin Jones says:

    Benjamin Jones. Sorry.

  84. Chris Hass says:

    SOMETHING. OR NOTHING. Domino-length, cork-stoppered bottle of semi-transparent glass with a hand-written paper label held to its neck by string. Label reads “Something. Or Nothing.” Unopened, contents unknown. The bottle and its label came to scientific attention at one of Lambshead’s rare open-estate pot-lucks when it was nearly mistaken for steak seasoning by a guest. Discussion ensued leading to the creation of rival factions that have since lent significant scientific and conceptual study to divining the nature of the bottle’s contents, or lack thereof. Analysis has been inconclusive yet inquiry continues. Given that nothing is impossible to contain, if the second portion of the label is true it would represent a mundane or significant discovery. Recent speculation posits that the bottle contains a valuable, deadly, rare, or impossibly potent substance and that the label is merely a clever deterrent, coining the term: “Philosopher’s Lock.” –Chris Hass

  85. A.C.Wise says:

    MESMER’S FLOWER – Preserved between two sheets of archival paper, this pressed flower originated with Franz Anton Mesmer, inventor of the medical treatment known as ‘animal magnetism’. Following his failure to cure the musician Maria Theresia Paradis of her blindness, Mesmer fled Vienna in disgrace. This flower is all that remains of the beloved garden he left behind. Researchers working to trace the flower’s full provenance have reported feeling ‘dizzy’, ‘sleepy’ and ‘distracted’ after prolonged contact. One researcher claimed to hear ‘persistent humming’, accompanied by the sensation of ‘great tides moving through my body’. Another researcher described an increase in ‘impulsive and uncharacteristic behavior’, particularly in matters of romantic and physical relations. Also noteworthy are two words inscribed upon the archival paper. The handwriting, which remains unidentified, is shaky, and the paper has suffered slight water damage, as if from a single drop of moisture. The words simply read For Wilhemina? – A.C. Wise

  86. Mike Allen says:

    CLAVIS INCUBI, OR SOMNUS KEY. Only a few notes in the margins of an undated bedside journal hint at this curio’s existence. The item opens nothing; rather it is paired with a clock, in which one turns the key to mark the hour and minute of one’s visit to the hall where the clock is mounted. Though no key of the immense size described was ever recovered in Dr. Lambshead’s cabinet, the notes assert that both the artifact and the drawer containing it are only accessed in dreams. Subsequent searches conducted through that medium yield conflicting reports, depicting the object beheld as a knife sculpted of shadow, a chain of interlocked hands stripped to bone and sinew, a crystal serpent twined in Möbius coils or even a furred, fang-baring beast, raising numerous questions about the nature and whereabouts of the clock it is purported to match. –Mike Allen

  87. Chris Hass says:

    EVERYTHING. As is, with newspaper brief affixed to the back with paste. Article reads: “During the annual Thinkers Clubb debate at Ivory’s Pub, Northwest Lancashireinham, Lambshead on Friday tempers flew while addressing the age-old question ‘If one had everything, where would he put it?’ Local octalthorpe [sic] Dr. Lambishead, unexpectedly in town due to transit delays, wagered that he would solve the conundrum in return for full ownership of the Everything in question. Thinkers Clubb president Dr. Lane Parkin, DDT, took the wager on behalf of the Clubb. The gentlemen shook hands. Rather than respond, Lambshead ordered a Dingham’s Ginger-Beer, collected it, and took a deep swallow. Frustrated, Parkin asked: ‘Where do you put it, Lambshead? Where?’ Lambshead gave a small smile and replied: ‘Right where it is.’ Lambishead was made an honorary Clubb member on the spot and debate began as to where he should put the ownership label.” –Chris Hass

  88. Chris Hass says:

    EVERYTHING. As is, with newspaper brief affixed to the back with paste. Article reads: “During the annual Thinkers Clubb debate at Ivory’s Pub, Northwest Lancashireinham on Friday tempers flew while addressing the age-old question ‘If one had everything, where would he put it?’ Local octalthorpe [sic] Dr. Lambishead, unexpectedly in town due to transit delays, wagered that he would solve the conundrum in return for full ownership of the Everything in question. Thinkers Clubb president Dr. Lane Parkin, DDT, took the wager on behalf of the Clubb. The gentlemen shook hands. Rather than respond, Lambshead ordered a Dingham’s Ginger-Beer, collected it, and took a deep swallow. Frustrated, Parkin asked: ‘Where do you put it, Lambshead? Where?’ Lambshead gave a small smile and replied: ‘Right where it is.’ Lambishead was made an honorary Clubb member on the spot and debate began as to where he should put the ownership label.” –Chris Hass (Typo in previous post corrected.)

  89. E. Catherine Tobler says:

    MAIZE – One perfectly preserved ear, 20cm in length, containing 350 kernels in variegated colors, most notably sweet cream, four o’clock sunlight, berry blood, and nightfall. Husk dried, but intact, silk no longer present. Dates from the 16th century. Small tag tied with twine around its girth, reads “Mendoza.” Acquisition date and method unknown. – E. Catherine Tobler

  90. Jeppe holm says:

    SWORDS TO PLOUGHSHARE. Two steel swords with curved blades. The two swords are perfectly crafted as each other’s mirrored twin. When inserted into the accompanying triangular steel connector, the swords combine to form a single ploughshare.

  91. Earl Newton says:

    TESLA’S ASHES – The last human remains of Nikola Tesla. Kept in a steel box marked EDISON. Discovered amongst other miscellany in the Edison Memorial Museum. Originally believed to be the ashes of one of Edison’s wives, Tesla’s remains were apparently stolen, cremated, and deposited in the museum as the result of some covert clause in Edison’s will. Dr. Lambshead recovered the ashes sometime later and proved their rightful heritage, but then misplaced the box at Christmas and never saw it again. Worth quite a bit of money to cloning scientists and enemies of direct current everywhere. – Earl Newton

  92. Charles Hargrove says:

    Nikola Tesla(?)’s pencil box. Simple tin box measuring 6” x 3” by 1”. The lid of the box is engraved N.T. It contains 6 yellow wooden pencils with a note purporting to be from Tesla’s mother Duka, dated June 4, 1875. The note is in Serbian and translated, reads “I know that you will design many great things with these.” An addendum by Dr. Lambshead points out two problems with this note. 1) Tesla very seldom drew any plans, and 2) his mother never learned to read or write. Anyone holding one of the pencils is filled with amazing visions of complex and fascinating machinery that quickly fade leaving a only sense of loss and disappointment. None of the pencils have ever been sharpened. Charles Hargrove

  93. CKHB says:

    SPECIMEN #1618: A single prepared microscope slide, labeled “Specimen 1618″ (square label, glued into place, handwritten in blue ink, author unknown). Beneath the cover slip, this concave slide contains what appear to be spirilla bacteria suspended in an unidentified green fluid. The slide failed to attract any particular attention by those cataloging Dr. Lambshead’s belongings until one of the Doctor’s colleagues was overheard discussing the “Golden Ratio”, the proportions of the chambered nautilus shell, and the import of the number 1.618 — the slide was then recovered from a lower-priority sorting pile and re-examined. One of the caretakers of the cabinet’s contents blew into a seashell during this re-examination. As the sound of the seashell filled the room, the formerly inert spirilla began to move.

    -Carrie Kei Heim Binas

  94. Tom Underberg says:

    AMERICAN NIGHT QUILT. A notable example of a hand-stitched night quilt featuring unusual subject matter: smallpox, penury and death by hanging. This cloth quilt (circa 1850) was purchased during the 1902 decommissioning of Lake Covenant Church near Oostburg, Wisconsin. ‘Absolutely no return’ is written on the receipt. Night quilts were worked only after dark and required completion before a newborn’s name day. Panels warded against the illustrated misfortunes, but each additional panel diluted the overall efficacy. This piece features exquisite detailing. In clock-wise order, the quilt’s applique panels show: a boy, covered in small sores, alone in a bed; a man at night, his felt pockets turned inside-out, standing in a fallow field; the same man hanging from a leafless tree. On the right side of this panel, three women weep; on the left, a preacher wearing a black felt hat watches. The fourth panel is missing. – Tom Underberg

  95. Dallas Taylor says:

    WOODEN STAKE.  8-3/8” long, base diameter 1-15/16” tapering to a sharp point.  Item was mistaken for a structural element of the cabinet until the discovery, in a separate wax-sealed box, of a note dated September 1735.  Signed by Drs. Flückinger and Glaser, the note identifies the item as the hawthorne stake driven through the heart of Arnont Paule’s exhumed corpse in the village of Medveda in Serbian Moravia, ca. 1726 (the posthumous certifications of Paule and Petar Blagojević by Austro-Hungarian medical authorities are considered proximate causes of the Eighteenth Century Vampire Controversy).  Dendrochonological analyses confirm item to be fire-hardened Crataegus monogyna, 250-350 years old.  Haematology samples reveal certain unexplained irregularities and traces of at least five individuals’ genetic material.  Dr. Lambshead is believed to have won item from a bastard son of Otto Habsburg-Lothringen in a card game in Paris in 1967. – Dallas Taylor

  96. Patrick says:

    THE UNAPPARENT MEMBER. This eldritch item can only be discerned by its shadow, and only when placed near a fire made from a certain type of sea weed now thought extinct. Reaching luridly towards the flames, the shadow suggests the shapes of various members of various members of the animal kingdom and other kingdoms best left uncontemplated. Though supposedly used to great success by the women of some antediluvian high societies, its usage was said to be gravid with danger and prone to bearing unexpected fruits of labour. Theoretically contained within a stained but otherwise unremarkable wooden container , the actual existence of the object is understandably difficult to verify. As to its original owner, few dare guess.

  97. Patrick says:

    Jostein P. Steindal

  98. Dustin J Monk says:

    SNOW GLOBE – 16 ½ cm height x 10 cm diameter; manufactured by Les Cadeaux et Jouets Noirs d’Humour (Paris, 1966); glass sphere placed on black ceramic base and filled with water, antifreeze, and bone chips. Scene in the globe depicts a male figure with the head of a sheep who appears to gyrate when the snow globe is shaken. The doctor, stricken with influenza, received the gift a week before Christmas, 1971, by a possibly enraged and heartbroken former lover. Inscription on the snow globe reads: From Danette. Because you would never dance with me. Joyeux Noël. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Lambshead was rushed to the hospital. His maid reportedly found him shaking on the floor, clutching the snow globe, biting his tongue. Though such a reaction is uncommon in adults, doctors attributed the seizure to high fever from influenza. Regardless, Dr. Lambshead never shook the globe again. – Dustin J Monk

  99. Alys Sterling says:

    CUP AND COVER. Silver, silver gilt, painted enamel. Provenance: possibly Nuremberg, period ca 1500, based on comparison with similar artifacts. The ornate cover is worked to resemble a city of silver-gilt buildings with green enamel roofs. Examination of contemporary depictions of European cities fails to produce a match.

    The body and interior of the cup are enamelled in green and black with a series of pictures which depict scenes from a story; possibly the Book of Tobit, in which the Archangel Raphael, in disguise, helps the boy Tobias catch the fish whose liver will cure his father Tobit of blindness. This interpretation remains somewhat controversial, as the sea creature depicted in the cup more closely resembles a giant octopus or squid than a fish.

    -Alys Sterling

  100. Nicole Feldl says:

    BUTTER LAMP OF SAINT PEMA LINGPA. Redolent of eau de yak, this 15th century brass lamp is engraved with the eight auspicious Buddhist symbols. A ninth etching of unknown provenance depicts a biped of excessively shaggy body hair. After the flaming lake incident in the Bhutanese Himalaya, the lamp went missing for four centuries until it was acquired in 1928 by infamous explorer Freya Stark from a hashish-eater in the Valley of the Assassins. Dame Stark gifted the lamp to Dr. Lambshead at a dinner party at the Lambshead estate, whereupon an unwary guest mistook it for a wine goblet. In the following weeks, Wimpering-on-the-Brook was stricken by a mysterious epidemic. No cause for the disease was ever confirmed, although the Lambshead cook was, of course, let go. – Nicole Feldl

  101. Kali Wallace says:

    HUMAN SKELETON, IRREGULAR. Adult male, 20th c. European, identity unknown. Acquired from the estate of noted dog breeder and occult hobbyist Mr. Comfort of Derbyshire, whose widow sold his collection and prized Schnauzers after his fatal hunting accident in 1952, the skeleton may be an example of an unclassified bone disorder or an elaborate anatomical hoax; Dr. Lambshead’s records are inconclusive. Curious features include pronounced phalangeal keratin structures, twelve coccygeal vertebrae, rotated scapula and absent clavicle, convex frontal bone, and an elongated mandible with overlarge canines. A small hole in the occipital bone with traces of silver and indentations in the cervical vertebrae suggest death by foul play rather than disease; scorching indicates posthumous exposure to fire. Mr. Comfort’s journals contain no mention of the specimen and disclose no provenance. Mrs. Comfort’s auction notes are brief: “Skeleton, male, possible medical interest. Nobody important. £3 starting bid.” – Kali Wallace

  102. Nick Farrar says:

    JAPANESE MUSIC BOX. A 4”x2”x2” cherrywood box, fire-damaged. Three kanji characters are carved into the lid (“ka-bu-ki”). Box contains a silver cylinder inscribed with a family tree, a tuned steel comb, and a clockwork winding mechanism. Lifting the lid causes the cylinder to rotate, whereupon the genealogy on its surface plucks the comb’s teeth, producing music. The bottom of the box is marked with a family name, now partially ablated by fire; thought to be “Awaya.” Taped to the box is a note in Dr. Lambshead’s handwriting: “Recovered from Hiroshima, circa 1946. Quite unlistenable; sounds like screaming.” – Nick Farrar

  103. F. says:

    A BOTTLE, AN ENVELOPE, A BOX. The three of them from the same drawer. Item #1, a small bottle containing beach sand, labeled ‘The very print of a foot found by Robinson Crusoe.’ Item #2, inside the envelope, arranged like a large collection of infinity symbols distractedly drawn, there is a mostly featureless hemp thread. “Though partial, this is surely the only map we will ever have of the original Cretan labyrinth,” says a handwritten note in Spanish accompanying the skein. “Its deceitful linearity conceals every twist of the way followed by Theseus.” One of its ends is stained with blood. Item #3, a wooden, one-piece box, completely sealed but for three tiny round holes on its front. Any De Saint-Exupéry reader would find it familiar. In a little brass plaque the following words:
    GOD
    (_Sapientia Sapiens_)
    Do not feed
    Inside, something squeals, sings, curses at dawn. – Luis Felipe López

  104. Jon Prescott-Roy says:

    SMALL SQUARE OF PAPER, BEARING A RECIPE. First catalogued as accompanying a vial found nearby, until a label was found which matched the vial. This item is now thought to stand alone. Much of the text is obscured by either ink, or soot, or both. Ingredients list includes prosaic materials such as “wheat flour” and “melted snow” but also more enigmatic entries: “tincture of hysteria” and “an infant’s squeal.” The last two lines of the instructions are almost completely illegible, but appear to involve “a holy man” and “an angry virgin.” The style of the recipe would suggest a resulting substance with curative properties, but, in Dr. Lambshead’s hand is scrawled, across the top, “BEST OVER RIPE MELON.” – Jonathan J. Prescott-Roy

  105. Peter Measom says:

    FRAGMENT OF PERSIAN CARPET – Intricately woven rug found in a charity shop in Clapham 1960 reputed to contain the new maps of hell by the forgotten and reviled king Sley of Amis 5 AD, a most avid rug maker and ruler of ancient Persia. The sight of this fine rug would turn one into an angry young man. A partial note remains that has mention to an incomplete incantation “Through the heddle eyes of the Harness”. Dr. Lambshead as spent many a night pondering on the part warning in French of to goog le Sley. – Peter Measom

  106. Be a part of the next VanderMeer Steampunk project! says:

    [...] You can find the full rundown of rules and regs here. [...]

  107. Zak says:

    MUNDUS OCULI – Purchased by Dr. Lambshead at a Portland, Oregon garage sale in 1964, this pair of vivid-blue glass eyes sit on an ungainly brass standee. A wirework in the rough shape of a head positions them to gaze upon a shoddily decorated ambo. Accompanying paperwork traces the eyes to an artisan of the Torcello family on the island of Murano in 1589. The brasswork is of sufficiently poor workmanship that it is unattributed. The object was commissioned by Edward Kelly in an apparent scam. His letter claims that the entire affair is of greatest antiquity, fashioned before the pyramids, and meant to house a lost book. Should the eyes look upon this book, the owner will experience great peace and certainty. The scam was unsuccessful and the book never produced. From time to time I have seen the eyes blink. Though the urge to place this catalog on the platform is strong, I have so far resisted. – Zak Jarvis

  108. Chris says:

    MAP (UNKNOWN).
    that this is the case. A small scrap of parchment inked with a complicated and colourful geometrical diagram. Previously owned by a Catholic priest, Father Bunting, who claimed that as a young missionary he had attempted to minister, with limited success, to the Romany population that then existed at the foothills of the Caucasus mountains in Azerbaijan (although there is no surviving record of such a population, or a mission there). The map had been gifted to him as a gratitude for favours done for a prominent local family in that area. It is thought that the map passed out of Father Bunting’s possession shortly before his death in 1991, at the age of one hundred and thirty four. The notes he attached assert that extended contemplation of the map could result in temporal displacement for its owner, but unfortunately there is no evidence
    -Christopher Stabback

  109. Divers Hands says:

    POTOCKI’S BULLET. Rough shaped silver, heavily tarnished. Removed from the skull of the famed Polish soldier, aeronaut, author and werewolf. Rumored to cause poignant hallucinations of vast and terrible conspiracies. Generously donated to the Doctor by it’s previous owner, one T. R. Pynchon, by post. – Divers Hands

  110. Aidan says:

    MAP OF THE SHOGUN’S MISTRESS – The 17th century samurai poet cartographer Hitoshi Uchiyama risked an affair with a mistress of the Terugawa Shogun. Uchiyama used his knowledge of cartography and calligraphy to compose a detailed topographic map of his lover’s body. He labelled it as a map of The Realm of Dreams and presented it as a gift to the unknowing shogun. Ironically the lovers suffered similar fates. Suspecting his mistress of infidelity, the shogun sentenced her to death by monkey. A heartbroken Uchiyama perished a day later, killed by the leaders of the snow monkey rebellion. The map eventually made its way to Europe. The discovery of its erotic origin caused a minor scandal and led to a rise in attendance at meetings of the Royal Geographic Society. – Aidan Doyle

  111. Hannah Wilson says:

    THE REDBED STONE. Named after the sediment bed where laborers discovered it, the Stone became international news, eclipsing other gossip in all the stylish teahouses. A perfect sphere three feet in diameter, it weighed almost nothing. Laborers posed for pictures, the Stone tossed like a feather above their heads.
    The Stone’s notoriety was not instant; its true appeal lay not in its curious nature but in events befalling those around it. Half the laborers who found it died within the year. The others lived miraculous lives – surviving train-wrecks, finding fortunes. The first museum housing the Stone burned to the ground days before the grand opening. The Stone was declared cursed, but upon inspection it became evident the unstable museum would have collapsed under the weight of crowded patrons, killing many.
    Genevieve Whippleton, the Stone’s foremost authority, believed the events, lesser minds thought random and unpredictable, were the Stone’s attempted communications. – Hannah Wilson

  112. James Kenyon says:

    INVITATION TO A BREAKFAST. A magnificent piece of hand-made paper, in corruscating ripples of color, in shades of dust,gypsum and stone. There is no date, but the handwriting and signature, of one Sepulchrave Groan, 76th Earl of Gormenghast, seems evocative of some archaic culture, remote and contemporary, simultaneously ancient, and post-modern. Dr. Lambshead had visited this Earldom while travelling in Eastern Europe in the early 60’s, but was taken ill with an allergic reaction to large numbers of dust-born mites in his lungs. His Invitiation was never opened, but can be removed from the gilt-edged envelope through a fragile, singed edge, evidence of some exposure to fire. The invitation contains a sample menu, prepared by the castle cook, Swelter, and is notable for the number of dishes involving owls. The breakfast was given in honor of the Earl’s son, whose name is not quite legible, due to the slightly burned edges of the document, but reads: ‘ in honor of us Groan

  113. redhead says:

    LILITH’S MAP – approximately 12 inches by 12 inches, this peice of preserved human flesh perports to be a map of the Garden of Eden. Discovered in a vat of honey along side the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran, Professor Lambshead aquired the map in 1959 while surveying Jerusalem. Although the markings on the map are in no known language, but the symbols obviously refer to a tree, a river, a waterfall, a field, a cave, and a gate. The four corners of the map are decorated with the profile of a pregnant woman, wheat, a scythe, and a doe. Scientific investigation has shown the words and images were tattood on a living person’s body (probably their back), and then after death their skin was removed and preserved.

  114. David Steffen says:

    SANGUINAL FREQUENCY REGULATOR–Maker Jeremiah Pace pioneered many medical inventions more than a century before these technologies became mainstream. Foremost of value among these inventions is this miracle device that corrects heart arrythmias by regulating and even multiplying the heart’s own energy. This prototype unit exhibited a lone design flaw, which surely would have been resolved if not for Mr. Pace’s untimely death. If the subject becomes suddenly agitated, the resulting energy output of the unit increases exponentially. Mr. Pace’s tragic death occurred well before his prime, reputedly caused when this prototype’s flaw was triggered by a rival inventor’s newest work, the Joy Buzzer. Miraculously, this device survived the blast that destroyed Pace’s chest cavity. The greatest tragedy of all is that the instrument of his death enjoyed universal acclaim, while Pace’s trailblazing innovations have been all but lost in the mists of time.

  115. Eytan Zweig says:

    MUMMIFIED EYEBALL – A mummified eyeball of unknown age and origin, its size and shape consistent with the eye of a human child. It is affixed to the end of a golden chain, of the type once commonly used for a gentleman’s pocket watch. At the end of the chain a yellowing tag remains, with a faded, handwritten price of 17.32 Deutsche mark still visible. On the back of the price-tag, the letters “E.M.S.?” are written in Dr. Lambhead’s own hand. When the eyeball is gently shaken and then held to one’s ear, it is possible to hear the faint but clearly discernible tune of “Three Blind Mice” emanating from within. – Eytan Zweig

  116. Lou Wysocki says:

    THE THIRD WART OF COPERNICUS: Third to develop on his body (after the nose and foot warts), this wart grew on his right index finger knuckle in 1521. He was fond of rubbing the wart while developing the heliocentric theories that became the work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Removed from his body at the time of death, it was pressed between the pages of his family’s bible, where it remained until the bible came into the possession of Dr. Lambshead in 1940. The wart was subsequently removed and since preserved in a vial of mineral oil, where it remains to this day. – Louis Wysocki

  117. Claire Massey says:

    HARNESS & LEASH FOR A FLY. Harness fashioned from newspaper. Coiled, grey coloured leash of undetermined material. Possibly a relic from the ‘Cult of the Fly’, an obscure movement originating in the working men’s clubs of 19th century Lancashire. What little we know about the cult comes from a letter by a Miss Phyllis Grimshaw of Oswaldtwistle to a Mrs Evelyn Hunt of Crewe (currently on display in the MOSI). She states: ‘Father has taken up with those ridiculous fly men and is growing a beard, to his knees, he says, so he can pluck a hair from it. Mrs Cackett, at the shop, says some neversweats have been plucking the tail hairs from passing horses.’ The precise nature of the ritual involving the flies is unknown, although it is unlikely the incumbent of this harness lived a full life: a fragment of wing remains attached to the newspaper. – Claire Massey

  118. Emily Smith says:

    GEORGE ORWELL’S TEA COSY:
    This remarkably soft and flexible example of cannibal handiwork was a gift to Orwell from a friend he met in Burma. When cogitating over his stories, George was rumored to give the cosy remarkably complex up-dos. He was often heard exclaiming that it was the most effective cosy he had ever owned and extolled the insulative virtues of a full head of hair. According to the tag, the spout is intended to exit the right ear and the handle the left so that when tea is poured the face remains oriented to the guests. Acquired from the artist’s estate.
    The pot’s tag indicates it belonged to Dr. Lambhead’s private collection and has no association with Orwell or the cosy.
    -Emily Smith

  119. Timothy Wahle says:

    Compass of Tavan Bogd Uul – An unorthodox dry compass, constructed of brass and teak, employing a lodestone salvaged from meteoric ore discovered atop Mongolia’s Khuiten Peak in 1736. Dr. Lambshead is believed to have acquired the compass in Tangiers in 1953, somewhat by accident. Initially believing the compass to be faulty, Dr. Lambshead later came to the conclusion that the compass pointed not to true north, but to a heretofore undiscovered magnetic pole, an unfixed pole possessed of the ability to shift location independent of the Earth’s rotation and magnetic field. Coordinates provided by the compass have proven to be unreliable, if not outright unnavigable, at one point causing the good Doctor no small degree of consternation during a trip to the corner greengrocer (“the damndest thing,” he was heard to announce upon arriving home a number of hours later).

  120. Graham Lowther says:

    EAR EYE. This instrument functions in the same way as a periscope but is in the shape of a C, and therefore requires many more mirrors. It is apparently designed for looking into one’s own ear. A transparent casing displays the mirrors inside. Inexplicably, one of them is tinted so dark as to be minimally reflective. An employee of the caretakers of Dr. Lambshead’s house was testing the Ear Eye when he dropped it (fortunately it doesn’t appear to have been damaged) and ran away yelling inarticulately and covering the ear he had just been looking into. He seemed to want no one to see into it. He has not reported back. No one has yet been found willing to further investigate the Ear Eye. – Graham Lowther

  121. Joshua Denby says:

    Bear Belt – Rusted iron-link belt, the work of a shaman of the Sakhalin Nivkh. Given to Dr. Lambshead by one E. Kreinovich, who claimed that the transformative powers of the belt enabled him to survive the bitter winters of Sakhalin and the diet of the Nivkh (almost exclusively fish). Attached to belt with waxed string: stoppered glass bottle filled with fur, labelled “Ridiculous & Unfortunate Side Effect” in Dr. Lambshead’s hand. – Joshua Denby

  122. Ju Honisch says:

    DR. LAMBSHEAD’S ULTIMATE ORIGINAL MUSIC BOX.

    Made of acacia wood, covered in gold and inscribed on five sides in cuneiform lettering, this box – according to Dr. Lambshead’s research – contains the very idea of music. A golden dog sitting opposite a cornucopia adorns its sixth and upper side. From the cranking noise heard and occasional steam emissions that find their way through miniature cracks Dr. Lambshead deduced that a mechanism is working inside the gadget to the effect of spreading the concept of music into the ether. He describes the machine as an extra-evolutionary addition to human culture, as music, i.e. the art of composing or performing it, might not be seen as an evolutionary survival skill and could therefore have another origin. Since the Mesopotamian script gives warning not to tamper with the box lest one might eliminate all music from the Earth, further research is still pending. – Ju Honisch

  123. Vincent L. Cleaver says:

    DOLPHIN WHISTLE. A whale’s tooth carving, or scrimshaw, tentatively dated to the early 19th century, when whaling provided oil for lamps and served as an industrial lubricant in the early industrial revolution, before petroleum products were used. According to the attached note, it was to be used to call dolphins for aid in times of distress at sea. ‘The owner of a small shop in Nantucket, a delightful lady several years my senior and rather, shall we say, confused, informed me that it had been given to her as a little girl by her great uncle, who had it from an Atlantean Prince.’ Of further note, there does appear to be writing in Linear B, which is indecipherable, of course. -Vincent L. Cleaver

  124. Virginia says:

    CAPT. McRESS’S POCKET WATCH—Gold pocket watch, engraved, known to belong to Capt. Fineas McRess of the famous plague ship L’Ange Triste. Badly tarnished but little corroded. Barnacle adhering to upper back. Inside, the miniature face of Capt. McRess’s wife Laviniana is obscured by a small dried green starfish. The numbers on the watch face (the crystal is gone) have been replaced by symbols of the Eastern Zodiac. Time is stopped at 40 past Snow Leopard. Dr. Lambshead’s note for this piece states that it was obtained from the lighthouse keeper at Helas-se-Koor, who said that his daughter gave it to him after she was done playing with it. However, it is widely known that the lighthouse keeper’s daughter drowned five years before L’Ange Triste went aground with the loss of all hands.

    Virginia M. Mohlere

  125. Dr. Galubrious says:

    St. Blaise’s Toad: Photographed – http://www.flickr.com/photos/53417531@N05/4935854131/

  126. The Dark Glass | Home says:

    [...] is a short one, but it's for an actual publisher, so it's legit: http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2010/08/16/the-thackery-t-lambshead-cabinet-of-curiosities-micro-submi…. This is not the final version. It's not getting across the right vibe yet, plus it's still a [...]

  127. Andrew Zimmerman Jones says:

    CONUNDRUM COMPUTING CONTRAPTION – Wooden box with a hinged top, the 3C opens to reveal a mechanical device similar to a massive typewriter, containing 26 keys corresponding to the letters of the alphabet and a toggle with settings “Encrypt” or “Decrypt.” Mathematician Alan Turing built the device, which can create a unique, unbreakable cryptogram and can decode any other system’s encryption algorithm. Turing contacted British intelligence about the 3C in 1954, but due to his “suicide” days later, there was no recorded follow up. The next mention of the 3C was in 1987, when it was confiscated for national security purposes by MI-6 following its implication in the Black Monday stock market collapse. How it came into Dr. Lambshead’s possession is unknown. It is currently being safeguarded by the World Bank, until such time as reliable quantum encryption techniques render it obsolete. – Andrew Zimmerman Jones

  128. Adam Lobaugh says:

    Darwin’s Rarely Worn Spectacles – These lorgnette eyeglasses, with frames crafted of silver and a delicate finch-bone handle, are rumored to have played a role in the naturalists discoveries. Allegedly, William Herschel stole Darwin’s glasses, attested to by Robert Fitzroy : “…by gods, John nicked those accursed spectacles from his pocket during our conversation regarding the mystery of mysteries!”
    What is known is certainly a compelling reason as to why they were indeed, rarely worn. One example of their nature lies in an account by Herschel, who insists in his private diaries that the glasses “…imbue the owner with the ability to determine the origin of any object”. If worn extensively, however, the user devolves to a more primitive state. Witnesses attest to the case of Herschal, who, after wearing the glasses for a prolonged period spent the remainder of his life swinging from a tree as a chimpanzee in Kent, England. -Adam Lobaugh

  129. Michael-Joseph Agbayani says:

    The Turk’s Brain – A rectangular slab of an unidentified, impregnable, ebony-like substance measuring a hundred centimeters long, sixty centimeters wide and eight centimeters tall. Claimed by occultist Jean-Baptiste Morel to be part of the famous clockwork automaton chess-player, the Turk. Morel alleges that the Turk’s inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen dabbled in dark sorcery and was able to trap the spirit of one Philemon Agaston within the confines of the slab. “The brain” was able to somehow influence the clockwork during exhibitions but had stopped working, according to Morel, around the time of Kempelen’s death in 1804. (Thus, the version of the Turk sold to Johann Nepomuk Mälzel in 1808 was every bit a hoax as reported.) When asked by Lambshead about the fate of Agaston, Morel said, “He has – by this time – beaten all the demons in hell and would like no more to do with that silly little game.” — Michael-Joseph Agbayani

  130. David T Kirkpatrick says:

    THE IDEA BOX – A cubical sealed tin box, circa 1900-1920, approximately 5.5 inches in all dimensions. One face has a small hole designed to accept a winding key (not present). The opposing face has a small conical speaker, akin to those on early 20th century telephones. On top of the box is a small ivory button. The box was originally painted in silver and gold gilt that is now extremely worn and damaged. It was found in the area of the cabinet that suffered fire damage, and the paint on one side of the box is blistered and blackened. Ornate lettering above the button spells out ‘The Idea Box’, while below the button in smaller lettering is ‘Push Me’. The only other legible text is a small line that reads ‘Made in Schenectady New York’ in a calligraphic style. A tag looped around the speaker bears the cryptic statement ‘From R.B. via H.E.’. – David T Kirkpatrick

  131. Delilah S. Dawson says:

    SHROEDINGER’S CATSUP – Lurking behind thick, cobalt glass, this highly suspect substance is, in fact, rumored to be a fantastical comestible of condimentary delight. Unfortunately, the age and degradation of the sample precludes the introduction of air to the wax-sealed bottle. Should an unwitting scientist (or even a witting one) proceed with cracking the wax, the purported catsup would assuredly disintegrate so rapidly as to produce St. Elmo’s fire. Therefore, the catsup neither is nor is not, in fact, catsup. Ingredients are rumored to include dragon’s blood, the salty tears of a heartbroken driad, and rare Aunt Ruby’s Knickers Heirloom Tomatoes cultivated by the late Sir Edward Putanesca of Sheepspit-on-Surrey.

  132. E.C.McMullen Jr. says:

    DRIED EGGS OF ARZUSCH – Mistakenly associated with Kraken, the salt-water Arzusch is a biramous arthropod of the Chelicerata phylum (spiders, scorpions, horseshoe crabs).

    A seemingly intelligent predator, Arzusch communicate via pheromones and other excretions.

    An adult Arzusch: a female that sexually incorporates at least one male (See sexual dimorphism, angler fish), has no known predators. Their population is controlled by various non-mammalian predators that feed upon their eggs and young.

    Embedding itself internally, an Arzusch egg’s parasitic nature uses its (mammal only) host’s DNA to determine, among other things, growth. An average 40 centimeter rat can produce a single, 1 meter adult Arzusch. A 1.8288 meter human can produce a single adult up to 7.3152 meters.

    Transition from larvae to juvenile usually results in death for the host. Humans and larger hosts that survive the first transition die during final stage Arzusch mating, which only completes itself in brine.
    – Feo Amante

  133. Ken Liu says:

    CAMERA SOMNIORUM. Constructed by Korean craftsmen for Kublai Khan in the 13th century, this device was first described by Marco Polo. The hard jujube wood case conceals and protects the precision jewel steel mechanism inside. One end of the case holds a silver funnel that directs sunlight in a straight beam into the case to cast a shadow against the silk screen at the other end. The viewer manipulates the keys along the shell of the case to alter the positions of internal shutters so as to change the form of the shadow cast on the screen. A recipe book gives the keysfor creating shadows of various animals and famous personages. Playing with the device, Kublai discovered the profile for a woman of great beauty, whom his advisers claimed was Japanese. Kublai launched the failed invasion of Japan in pursuit of this shadow of his dream. – Ken Liu

  134. Paul Leach says:

    THE CURIOUS CAT OF HELIOPOLIS. Dr. Lambshead acquired this “genuinely inspired work of fakery” from the debunked French Egyptologist-turned-mystic Maurice St. Cecil. Originally credited to St. Cecil’s disastrous 1924 archaeological dig at Heliopolis, most experts believe the dubious Frenchman actually purchased the black cat statuette at a Cairo bazaar. Dr. Lambshead regularly discussed and displayed the palm-sized cat in his speaking engagements. Despite its lack of authenticity, he said he had never regretted the fee paid for the allegedly Ptolemaic feline and considered it a good luck charm of some sorts. He often remarked the cat had a penchant for turning up in places other than the places he left it. – Paul Leach

  135. Jayme Lynn Blaschke says:

    MOTHER OF SPIRITS. Drab olive in color with copper flecking, this three-inch-long sessile organism resembles a dessicated asparagus spear mated with a tiny artichoke. Once rehydrated in a suitable measure of clean water, it manifests a most peculiar phenomenon. When placed into a vessel containing fermented alcoholic beverage–beer, wine, mead, etc.–the Mother of Spirits catalyzes a secondary fermentation up to 120 proof (provided sufficient sugars are available). The Mother extrudes rootlike growth during this process, which can last several months, and it is speculated these function in a symbiotic relationship with residual yeasts to effect the unusually high secondary fermentation. Daughters form at the root nodes once alcohol content surpasses 50 percent, as the Mother is spent during the process. The resulting liquor is of fine quality, but a distinct aroma and flavor of cilantro renders it unpalatable to some. – Jayme Lynn Blaschke

  136. Polenth says:

    GNARLED SHEPHERD’S CROOK. Ash wood treated with linseed oil, acquired during a trip to Scandinavia in 1928. Legend said it was a branch from Yggdrasil, the world tree. Ownership would increase wool production for the bearer’s flock. Legend failed to warn that prolonged exposure could cause a malady of lupine proportions. After one stricken sheep took on a monstrous form, it chased the crook-bearer across the cliff road Dr. Lambshead’s carriage was traversing. Having been gifted pickled herrings, a local delicacy of pungent odour, Dr. Lambshead used this to distract the beast. Once it drew near, he threw the herrings over the cliff. Though endowed with lupine strength, the creature retained ovine intellect. It followed its meal off the precipice without hesitation. Upon hearing Dr. Lambshead’s distress at the loss of such a unique specimen, the shepherd offered the crook as a token of his gratitude. – Polenth Blake

  137. Paul Mannering says:

    QUERY LETTER FOR PUBLICATION OF HISTORICAL NOVEL: ‘THE BIBLE’
    A rolled papyrus sheet measuring 12” x 17”. Discovered in a cave near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran close to the Dead Sea in 1955.
    It is claimed that this fragment of a Dead Sea scroll has been translated as a draft submission letter to an unknown publisher. Purportedly the manuscript offered for publication is identified as ‘The Bible’ and the correspondent describes it as; ‘An historical romance novel of epic proportions.’ Due to the extremely fragile nature of the original text no further examination of the scroll has been attempted. Therefore no corroboration of the claimed translation can be confirmed or denied. Accompanying label indicates the scroll was gifted to Dr Lambshead during a 1987 lecture tour by an unidentified woman. – Paul Mannering

  138. Michael J. Larson says:

    UNLABELED WAX PHONOGRAPH CYLINDER. Object appears to be over a century old, but is still functional.
    When played, the sound of a percussive instrument, possibly a large tubular drum, can be heard for approximately the first forty seconds of recording time. During this sound, the murmurings of a man’s voice become interpolated with the beat. The syllables are indistinguishable, but as the drum-beat continues, the voice rises until it becomes a series of shouted plosives. At around the four minute mark, both sounds stop completely and are replaced by a series of high-pitched cries, from which can be gleaned the only coherent word of the entire piece: “Alley-Caster”, or perhaps “Snally-gaster”. The final sound heard on the recording is an extremely loud screeching whistle, which sounds reptilian in origin.
    An attached note indicates that Dr. Lambshead acquired the object from a motel room drawer in Braddock Heights, Maryland. – Michael J. Larson

  139. Joe Pulver says:

    Breillat’s Mirror Nocturna. A torn, fragmentary note in Dr. Lambshead’s handwriting reads:

    Two oval mirrors placed 3 cm apart and facing opposing directions. They are held in a silver hand-frame. The 16 cm handle is a filigree of curious knots and miniature feathers. The primary viewing mirror, a flat plane, silvered-glass mirror, is 8 cm. Appearance wise, this mirror seems quite routine. The second, opposing tin-mercury mirror, is concave and is 12 cm. The surface of this second mirror uncloaks the physiognomical vistas of the viewer’s Night temperaments.

    Breillant’s Mirror functions in most forms of artificial and reflected light, as well as in moonlight, but the device will not function in daylight, or by the light of a full moon, even if said light is indirect or reflected.

    Fraticelli misunderstood the phenomena of incar . . .

    [Water and mold have obliterated the remains of Dr. Lambshead’s entry.]

    – Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

  140. Jim Steel says:

    THE HEAD OF JOE THE BAPTIST. Once held to be a relic on a par with the true cross, the head is nothing of the sort and a little detective work reveals that it was the result of a misheard request from a Parisian dancer who was visiting Blackpool during a tour of Lancashire. She had been making a sarcastic comment on the woeful conditions backstage and was stunned when a local man’s head appeared on her dressing table the following night. She refused to go on until it was disposed of, and it soon become confused with the original as it rapidly changed hands. Conditions conspired to mummify the head and at some stage a silver mount was added. It was believed that the feather fixed before the lips could be seen to move very slightly as the head still possessed some vital energy. – Jim Steel

  141. Dana DeVries says:

    PHOENIX FEATHER. Discovered in use as a bookmark in one of Dr. Lambshead‘s journals, this feather is similar in structure to that of an ostrich. It is burnt umber in hue with streaks of scarlet and measures eight inches in length. The journal states that the Doctor found the feather in an antique store in Vienna. The seller insisted the feather was used in the early 17th Century as a remedy for fainting, though he could not explain it’s remarkable condition given this supposed age. Lighting the item on fire and then extinguishing it does produce an acrid smoke sufficient to rouse an unconscious patient. Curiously, combustion does not consume the feather, though it does increase the scarlet pigmentation. – Dana DeVries

  142. Larry C. Kay says:

    SALIERI’S METRONOME. A plain wooden pyramid with a simple brass pendulum discovered in a Viennese coffee shop. If the date burned into the bottom of the device, 1791, is meant to be its date of creation that alone would make it noteworthy since the historically accepted date of invention for the “musician’s friend” was not until 1812. Beethoven did not even use one until 1817. It is not the age of the device which truly sets it apart, but the tear-shaped vial of blood that hangs inside. Setting the device on a high tempo boils the blood. A low setting turns it blue. One can only imagine the fainting spells or fevers that might plague a man were his own heart subjected to such alternating passions. It is noted that 1791 is the year Mozart died. – Larry C. Kay

  143. Ben Cameron says:

    The Merlin Clock:
    A thin sheet of tungsten with a dial used to select various languages, including those on the Rosetta stone and three unknown scripts. A recent series of CT scans revealed thousands of gears inside, though fewer gears appear in each subsequent scan. Dr. Lambshead’s notes portray the device as three sheets hinged by ‘unknown means’. Lambshead was bequeathed the device by Nikola Tesla, who purported to have won the clock from Aleister Crowley. Crowley, who described the Clock as having several dozen pages, acquired the tome from Nazi scientists who, in turn, stole it from the Vatican of Pope Pius XII. The earliest writings belong to Michel de Nostredame, who described it as ‘a tome of thousands of vellum like pages of an unknown metal’. All owners claimed the Clock’s pages contained a history of what had yet to be, none have been able to account for its diminishing volume.
    -Benjamin A.H. Cameron

  144. Icarus Graeme says:

    THE ARK OF CURIOSITIES. The ark is a low chest of red acacia, covered in gold. The original lid is apparently lost and has been replaced with a koa-wood plank carved with astronomical diagrams. Within the ark are a number of shelves and platforms on which are displayed a collection of three-inch figurines, carved in a variety of materials, and depicting grotesque creatures performing mundane tasks such as spinning wool, gathering lumber, eating, or using the toilet. Other images defy interpretation: a bronze head sporting arms for ears, a lignite woman giving birth to a tree. In all cases but one, the creatures’ eyes are obscured or closed. Dr. Lamshead’s journal mentions acquiring the artifact in Mexico in 1955 and contains a detailed sketch of the original positions of all the figures. When the ark was found, 17 of the 613 figurines were significantly out of place. – Icarus Graeme

  145. AMP Rodriguez says:

    MAGELLAN COMPASS – This compass resembles a pocket watch, with brass cover and a carved wooden chain. One of the two small papers attached to the chain indicates it was bought in an auction, near the only chapel that remained intact after the notorious 1755 Lisbon’s earthquake. The compass is unique in the sense that the cardinal and intercardinal points are substituted by two Greek letters. It permanently indicates what would have been SW in a regular compass, in this case αω. Several annotations on the second paper indicate that, according to some rumors, Magellan was holding the compass when he died, having the compass needle remained still in the position it had at that precise moment. There is also a hint that the combined Greek letters stand for some obscure theological meaning that remains unexplained to present day.

  146. Hugh Alter says:

    THE SEA SCROLL – A live spiny eel (Mastacembelus Mastacembelus) 40 centimeters long, the Sea Scroll has puzzled mystics and biologists alike. The scales’ colouration and shape produce visible text in Akkadian cuneiform. More unusual yet, the fish continues to flop about in its small glass and teak aquarium apparently unhindered by the absence of water and food for some years. Perhaps imperishable, the eel shows no sign of illness apart from atypically it’s molting scales. The message it bears changes regularly as new scales grow, attested to by accompanying diaries with nine centuries of transcriptions. The text has proven untranslatable thus far into Akkadian or any other language, and marginalia indicate that previous owners believed the writing to be either a divine mystery or an encrypted secret. Dr. Lambshead offers a different conjecture; “What if,” the last entry in the notes reads, “the fish is merely illiterate?” – Hugh Alter

  147. Mo Ali says:

    THE PROGNOSTIC PIPE OF PUNJAB (also known as THE PRÉSAGE HOOKAH). 15thC smoking pipe from the Indian Subcontinent, obtained in 1937 from a ‘Mr. Crowley’, as part of winnings from a card game which took place in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
    The pipe is two foot tall and shaped like a pregnant swan, silver and glass, ornately engraved with Punjabi calligraphy, with a mouthpiece of carved ivory and cloth hose. The base is hollow, filled previously with liquid, empty now save for residual brain matter (possibly primate).
    The Hookah was claimed to bestow upon the user precognitive skills, as well as heightening mental acuity and virility. Prolonged use had unfortunate side effects, which included hallucinations, a craving for fruit and insanity. This has led to speculation that this instrument was the etymological source of the idiom ‘going bananas’. – Mo Ali

  148. Pete Lenz says:

    BOSCH’S KALEIDOSCOPE. An oaken cylinder, crusted with alchemical glass. The kaleidoscope augments the user’s environment into grotesqueries reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s oeuvre. Its transformative properties aside, more speculation revolves around whether the images produced are counterfeits of his paintings, or as some metaphysicians argue, are a glimpse into Bosch’s own consciousness. Although unconfirmed, in the annals of the Illustrious Brotherhood of the Blessed Lady, of which Bosch was a sworn member, it is recorded that he was seen flaunting the device at one of their annual banquets. The kaleidoscope was a favorite of Dr. Lambshead until he suffered from several episodes of what he described in his journal as: “Extended fugue states wherein the images produced through the device began layering over my vision without the aid of the device itself. Brief auditory hallucinations synced along with the rotating images. They proved very unsettling.” –Pete Lenz

  149. Anatoly Belilovsky says:

    THE EMERALD CITY CANOPIC JARS, believed to be the repositories of organs used by the Wizard in his xenotransplantation experiments. The largest, empty but for traces of myelin, proved a DNA match for Ptolemy the Great; it most probably held Scarecrow’s Brain. The medium-sized jar yielded myosin and matched to Cleopatra, suggesting that it once contained Tin Man’s Heart. The source of Lion’s Courage had been the subject of lively and acrimonious debate until the discovery of haploid DNA matching Julius Caesar’s and fossilized fragments of a human vas deferens in the third, smallest, jar. –Anatoly Belilovsky

  150. L. David Hesler says:

    TUTANKHAMUN’S MEMBER
    Preserved in a pristine red sandalwood puzzle box, this specimen appears to have been removed from the young pharaoh’s mummified body sometime after the tomb’s discovery in 1922 and purchased from a flea market in Iowa. It is of average, if not somewhat diminished, length and girth with a slightly serpentine shape. Notes suggest the piece has curative attributes, especially regarding relationships or romances. Rumors of Tutankhamun’s genetic anomalies appear to have some basis in reality as Dr. Lambshead’s final note regarding the misshapen member reads only, “There is another.” Perhaps acquisition of this second piece might shed light on the member’s curious properties. – L. David Hesler

  151. Philip M. Sutherland says:

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S RESURRECTED RATTUS NORVEGICUS CREMATUS. A spectacularly-charred carcass of a rat, the result of an early attempt at electrical revivification by the apostate scientist and reanimator, Benjamin Franklin. The carcass dates from Franklin’s well-documented, “troubled period,” following the electrocution of his son William during a disastrous lightning-kite experiment in 1753. The “Father of Electricity” subsequently ruined his reputation, career and nearly the future of his country by obsessively endeavoring to revive the dead through electrophysiology, thus anticipating by thirty years the field of Galvinism. Numerous smoldering creatures reportedly ravaged Philadelphia during the weeks preceding Franklin’s banishment from the city, and the body of William Franklin was discovered missing and never recovered. Dr. Lampshead acquired the Rattus Norvegicus Crematus in 1987 from a mysterious, disfigured Philadelphia collector who had accumulated an unusual quantity of historical items and who, according to the Doctor, “exuded a pronounced odor of smoke.” – Philip M. Sutherland

  152. Dave Nelson says:

    JOE LOUIE ARMSTRONG’S “VALVED BUGLE”:

    When he ascended to the Moon in 1938 to defeat Nazi German heavyweight Max Schmeling, Joe Louie Armstrong not only roused his flagging nation, but also became the first black astro-pugilist to play trumpet on the Moon. A captivated world tuned in for his historic first transmission: “Houston, Tranquility base here: Dat’s one lil punch for yo’ man; one big-ole wallop fo’ mankin’.”

    But a faulty solenoid prevented broadcast of the extended horn solo that followed, leaving those hot licks long forgotten.

    The bugle itself–purportedly the same one Armstrong’s grandfather, General George Louie Armstrong Custer, carried into battle on the fateful morning of June 25, 1876–was long regarded as lost. An attached hangtag, penned in Lambshead’s own hand, indicates that this instrument was personally presented to him by Schmeling–a claim that remains unverified, and seems unlikely.

    — DAVID ERIK NELSON

  153. Book Calendar says:

    IVORY NOSTRIL PLUG said to have been carried by Allan Qatermain from the lost African city of Aoudaghost. It was given to Allan Qatermain while he was travelling near the Sahara desert in exchange for a steel cigarette case. It is inscribed with a three humped camel and inlaid with gold. Allen Qatermain was supposed to have sold the item to a curio dealer named Homi Wadia in the Souq al-Goma’a (Friday Market) in Cairo, Egypt to support his opium habit. The nostril plug is kept in a small teak wood treasure box with velvet cushioning.

    — Nishan Stepak

  154. Mary Lou Klecha says:

    THE ALETHEIA KALYPTO LENS. A circular lens chased in gold, four inches in diameter, recovered from the site of the Ancient Library of Alexandria. Reputed to distill an accurate evaluation and classification of the contents of any scroll when the scroll’s wrappings or outer surface are viewed through the lens. Dr. Lambshead tested the lens on various works written within the last two millennia rendered into scroll form as well as in codexes, but all were classified by the lens as ‘barbarian rubbish.’ This error is believed to result from smoke damage.

  155. Lynne Jamneck says:

    TANNIE JOHANNA HENDRINA SE FANTASTIESE RONDOMTALIE KOEKPLAAT. (trans. “Aunty Johanna Hendrina’s Fantastical Merry-Go-Round Cake Plate”) Purportedly an heirloom brought to South Africa by Dutch/American colonists in the late 1800’s. Imbued with knowledge about food by ancestral spirits, the cake plate is said to have worked only once for each user, but in doing so, imbued the individual with mythical cooking skills. This may go some way to explaining the legendary cooking talents of Afrikaner women. Antiquarian scholars believe the Cake Plate wipes all memory of itself from the user’s mind after the transfer process is complete, becoming nothing more than a curiosity to be passed on to the next available “koek-bakker”. An un-sourced inscription on the bottom of the plate reads TARRY TOWN, 1789.

  156. Ruskin Drake says:

    HERMOLAOS’S ANGER. It appears to be an unremarkable stone, a gray lump about the size of a man’s fist. It feels warm to the touch. A scroll found with the stone tells a legend of a Greek leader named Hermolaos, said to be born of a union between the god Hermes and a mortal woman. When he became the leader of his village, he beseeched his divine father to rid him of all anger so he could lead his people with a clear head. The gods granted his request, and whenever he would have otherwise felt anger, a certain nearby mountain would wear away in increments. He revealed the location of this mountain on his deathbed, but when his sons journeyed to find it, they found only a valley concealed in the center of a mountain range. At the center of this valley lay the aforementioned stone. – Ruskin Drake

  157. Brian Rosenberger says:

    Cyclops reading glass. Gold rim with metal frame, the monocle with sprung gallery belonged to Alexis Makos who overcame severe physical deformity to become one of the most popular chefs in Europe during the late 19th century. Makos’ specialty was Greek seafood. Dr. Lambshead delighted in his Htapothi Xythato. The lens was a gift of the Widow Makos (although secretly Lambshead would have preferred the octopus recipe). – Brian Rosenberger

  158. Joe Mashuga says:

    ANCIENT BROKEN SEXTANT. The broken halves of this bronze measuring device rest on a black silk kerchief. The sextant is designed for use in astrometry (as opposed to navigation). Dr. Lambshead’s tale of acquisition is brief and apologetic; while in a Tunisian tourist shoppe looking for a suitable trinket for a friend’s daughter, the doctor’s sleeve caught upon the sextant, causing it to fall and split perfectly in twain. Aside from the break, the sextant’s only remarkable feature is the set of the Aramaic numerals stamped on its arc.

  159. J.M. Perkins says:

    YETI’S CRYPTID GLAND. An appendix-sized organ preserved in glass. The attached notes claim the gland was recovered from a dissection of a Himalayan Grey Yeti shot by Laurence Waddell in 1889. Despite intense study, the gland’s function remained elusive until photographed in 1920. The resulting images, and all subsequent attempts, were blurry and out of focus. Dr. Lambshead hypothesized that the ‘Cryptid Gland’ excretes some manner of pheromone or quantum interference to keep the Yetis elusive, sabotage attempts to record or study the beasts and perhaps even promote a widespread disbelief in their existence. Dr. Lambshead further theorized that all cryptid species have some form of the gland. The good doctor ended his notes with excitement and optimism that further study may aid in the search for Ultra-Terrestrials; which, he believed, possess an extraordinarily evolved and supremely efficient version of the same mysterious gland. – J.M. Perkins

  160. James Southey says:

    CANDLE OF INVISIBILITY. Small and shriveled, and coated in a golden finish, this candle is purportedly fashioned from the cerumen (ear wax) of one H. Griffin – the Invisible Man himself. Acquired by Dr. Lambshead from an innkeeper in Port Burdock, the Doctor’s notes are characteristically critical of the innkeep’s tale. He postulates instead, that it is in fact Griffin’s nasal mucus (snot) that forms the basis of the candle. He cites a distinct lack of odour and his own personal experiments in snot-chandlery to support this. Snot candle or no, when lit the candle and its holder are indeed rendered invisible. How this invisibility is transferred and if the Doctor ever used the candle is unknown. However, it must be noted that the current candle height stands at 4.1 inches; noticeably shorter than the 5.1 inches originally recorded. What happened to the missing inch is anyone’s guess.

  161. Helen Ayinde says:

    MARIE LAVEAU’S HAIRPIN – This six-inch hairpin features an unusual wooden carving, depicting a squatting man. Dr. Lambshead’s research notes reveal that the carving is actually a poppet, and that it probably originated from the sunken continent of Mu. Dr. Lambshead states, ‘Both the expression and the posture of this figurine suggest it was used for medicinal vodou; for easing the bowels.’ There is charring around the poppet’s feet, where Dr. Lambshead claims a priest would burn samples of hair from a patient, as part of a bowel-loosening ritual. The original poppet was probably brought to the Americas by early Polynesian explorers. It was later attached to the jade pin, and given to Marie Laveau as a gift from a hairdressing client. Its method of travel to Britain is unknown, but Dr. Lambshead eventually acquired the hairpin at a car boot sale in Crouch End, London. – Helen Ayinde

  162. Cate Gardner says:

    ABU RAWASH JAR. Pottery jar decorated with hieroglyphs, circa 2520 BC, found within the ruins of the Pyramid of Djedefre and believed to contain the ashes of a lesser pharoah. According to Egyptian belief, consumpton of a dead man’s ashes ensured immortality. The entomed servants of the Pharaoh Djedefre were to injest a handful of said ashes as death approached and thus they would remain animated and able to protect Djedefre in the afterworld. When the Roman Emperor Augustus ordered the pyramid destroyed circa 7 AD it is believed the pharoah’s servants escaped across the sands. Thirty grams of the dust remain within. According to Dr. Lambshead’s notes the ashes remain untested. – Cate Gardner

  163. Jess Gulbranson says:

    “COFFIN TORPEDO”- Ostensibly of the Clover type, though considerably smaller than other unexploded specimens originating in the latter half of the 19th century. Devices like these were used to discourage the very real threat of grave-violation by Resurrectionists, and their armament packages typically contained powder, shot, chain, etc. The triggering lever on this item is removed, thankfully, but it should be noted that the munition here is not of any recognizable type- warm to the touch, and emitting a surprising amount of detectable radiation for so small an object. -Jess Gulbranson

  164. Anna Schwind says:

    HORNERO’S BILL. The long needle-like bill of a Rufous Hornero (Genus Furnarius), thrust upon Dr. Lambshead by Eufemia Corina Gaucha Manoukian while the former attempted a civil and delightful conversation over a cafecito with Jorge Louis Borges. Borges would have prevented the gift, embarrassed by Sra. Manoukian’s shabby appearance, were it not for the hornero’s status as national emblem of Argentina. Nonetheless, Borges declared her claim of the bill’s prophetic powers outrageous. In its tenure as part of Dr. Lambhead’s collection, the bill has spoken only three times. The first time, as it was handed over to his custody, it said, “llovizna, nácar, cadena.” The second time, it said, “jacarandá, ñandu, quebrada de humahuaca,” and on being cataloged for exhibit, it uttered,”entretiempo, comodín, bandoneon.” Whether these words can be deemed prophetic has not yet been scientifically determined. – Anna Schwind

  165. C.L.Wittler says:

    ORIGINAL WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE – A bottle of the first batch of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce made in 1838 with a brief document describing an alternate origin for the condiment attached, along with what appeared to be a partially dissolved human leg bone. The official story was that an unsuccessful attempt to formulate a Curry Sauce (declared inedible) was left in a large barrel in the dispensing chemists’ basement for several years, during which time it fermented and mellowed into the sauce made today. But the document describes how a local nobleman (a Lord Sandys, officially credited for bringing a recipe from India) had requested the Messrs. Lea and Perrins to dispose of the body of a sailor who had ‘accidentally’ died during the Lord’s return trip. The formula was, according to the document, used to liquify the hapless corpse, but after having done that (with a few remaining bone fragments like the enclosed) had become an edible and palatable sauce. It was claimed that for some years thereafter, the saucemakers were provided with deceased sailors (but only sailors; the makers considered the nickname “Salty Dog” to be literal, and therefore necessary to the recipe) for production of the condiment. At some point, descendants of the original Lea & Perrins were apparently able to substitute anchovies for the dead sailors, saving the company much legal trouble and confirming the “Salty Dog” story. It must be noted that the attached note was signed by a nephew of Lord Sandys who was elsewhere documented as disowned by his family and owing Mr. Perrins a large sum of money, calling his account into question. But the bottle of sauce is clearly genuine first-batch Worcestershire. – C.L. Wittler

  166. Alexander Wille says:

    THE POCKET OUBLIETTE – Of late eighteenth century French design, the pocket oubliette is a leather and metal container small enough to be placed in a fob pocket or elsewhere on the person of the discreet and discriminating Parisian gentleman. According to Dr. Lambshead’s inchoate notes, which in this case are even more fragmentary than usual, the design of the pocket oubliette is such that an object the owner sought to forget would be introduced into the device through a one-way valve, whereupon it would be impossible to remove. A series of internal hooks and serrated edges ensure that the contents would be destroyed should anyone attempt to force open the device. Once filled, it might be safely disposed of down a standard oubliette. Advanced medical scanning technology suggests that this pocket oubliette contains a key, a button, several sheets of paper, and a tooth, not likely of human origin. – Alexander Wille

  167. Christian Walter says:

    DR. LAMBSHEAD’S POSITRONIC HEAD. Mounted on a small wooden pedestal,the head resembles Dr. Lambshead circa 1968. According to an attached note it was acquired by the doctor in 1971 from a Gertrude Blugerman. Supposedly the head had been in her family since 1950. A plaque on the mount reads: ”With gratitude, Dresden, 2013.”

    Many of the components seem to be a kind of biological plastic. The head functions and can be activated via a small button underneath the pedestal, which will make it blink and breathe and sometimes purse its lips in a way reminiscent of the good doctor. So far, it has spoken only once, advising a young women on her way out to take an umbrella. Shortly thereafter it began to rain. Apart from that, it has refused to participate in any kind of conversation. – Christian Walter

  168. Michael Fontana says:

    THE LITERAPOLIS OF PORT MANTEAU’S MISPLOST COLLECTIVUTION TO THE ENGLANGUAGE. The word “lazastards”, the meaning of which remains uncertain. Penmanship suggests creation under duress.

  169. Jesse Hausler says:

    ROBE OF ACHILLES. This long leather cloak was entirely undamaged by the fire that ravaged many of Dr. Lambshead’s other curios, despite being found in a heavily charred corner of the cabinet. Subsequent tests on the robe revealed that it is virtually indestructible and cannot be cut, torn, or burned. A singed index card taped to the underside records that the cloak was an early acquisition of the doctor’s, discovered on a dig in northwestern Anatolia in 1923; it also implied that he believed that the robe was a sort of armor worn by Phrygian kings. The rationale for the robe’s appellation remained a mystery until it was discovered that the leather was formed from a single sheet of human skin, from a large-framed man of Mediterranean origin, with all cuts in the material originating from a nick in the left ankle. – Jesse Hausler

  170. Empty Your Heart Of Its Mortal Dream says:

    [...] cabinet. The deadline is on the 7th and you can find more information and submit your entry here. Tags: links Posted by Paul Charles Smith at 9:19 pm   Uncategorized   Permalink   [...]

  171. Corey Redekop says:

    LIX FIBULA – the calf bone of a lix, a long-extinct member of the genus Bos. By all appearances a larger than average cow, the lix’s early lactation colostrum was prized for its delicately sweet tang, and its sweet breads were a rare delicacy. However, its skeletal framework was the source of its ultimate demise, the bones highly prized by discerning deviants for the hallucinogenic compound found within the marrow, a drug so powerful the user was purported to gain the ability to stall time itself. The last known lix passed away while on exhibit in the New York Zoo, April 22, 1874, its corpse purchased outright by Boss Tweed, and the species has since passed into legend. As the drug was rumoured to gained potency through aging, the marrow of this fibula, the last remnant of an entire species, could potentially reverse time for a brief instant. – Corey Redekop

  172. Dominik Parisien says:

    JOHN KEATS’S LIVING (RIGHT) HAND – Smooth skinned, white and veined with subtle hues of blue, this hand, severed with surgical precision at the wrist, displays no visible signs of decomposition. Acquired by Dr. Lambshead in 1952 from the estate of one Fanny Brawne, the hand was discovered in a basket of rose thorns and violet stems, partly flattened between the pages of a book of poetry dedicated to the lady from the poet. Cold to the touch and still possessing a strong, lifelike grip, John Keats’s Living (Right) Hand is widely believed to have proven invaluable to Dr. Lambshead in perfecting his infamous business handshake. – Dominik Parisien

  173. Matthew Dyer says:

    BLANK JOURNAL. A small, brown leather book with a stylized design reminiscent of a half-lidded eye on the cover, the journal appears to have been heavily used. The binding is worn and close to broken in several spots; some of the now yellowed pages bear exotic stains that indicate a history of documenting strange days and stranger nights. Despite signs of frequent use, the journal contains nothing: no words or pictures, no writing at all. Neither the owner’s name nor journal entries adorn the pages. Close examination reveals no quill scratches indicative of invisible inks or other occulted writing techniques. Many of the blank pages have bent corners, as if to mark the page for easy reference. — Matthew Dyer

  174. Nicole Cushing says:

    CANISTER OF LAMBSHEAD’S OLDE TYME GERMAN GAS MUSTARD. Biographers have long speculated that Dr. Lambshead spearheaded the Weimar Republic’s groundbreaking research in condiment technology. But no proof existed – that is, not until those assigned by the estate unearthed this still-glittering, gilded canister, containing the first ever sandwich flavorer in gaseous form. Dr Lambshead abhorred the waste inherent in liquid mustard (the final remains of which often clung to the bottom of the jar, despite frantic scraping with a butter knife). He foresaw an era when not even a dribble of Dijon would go to waste – as it would be inhaled through a nasal cannula in-between bites. The product never made it to store shelves, however, as his company’s marketing department suspected that a traumatized public might easily conflate the condiment’s name with a certain notorious biological weapon from the recently ended Great War. — Nicole Cushing

  175. Mary Madewell says:

    WIDOW RIMBAUD’S KINETIC DISPLAY. Commissioned in secret by the Poet’s own mother, the Kinetic Display is an ocular assistant made of wood and brass which is strapped to the wearer’s head, and which is supposed to reveal visions otherworldly. Thick lenses cover the eyes, and direct the vision into a darkened box containing vaporous emulsions from an unknown source. To the day of her death Widow Rimbaud denied its existence, apparently for fear of excommunication. A close family friend has attested that a daily attempt was made by the Widow to locate her delinquent husband with the assistance of the device, but that it never worked properly. – Mary Madewell

  176. Mike Goforth says:

    CONJURER’S KEY, THE. The singularly extraordinary device rumored to have been the unifying control mechanism associated with the inventions, automata and other such clockwork creations of Frenchman Conjurer, Jean-Eugene Roberts-Houdin. This device, having briefly found its way into the possession of Dr. Lambshead during the autumn months between September and November of the year 1892, was later discovered to have vanished from his collection, in a manner similar to the storied disappearance of the Conjurer himself. With the Key’s disappearance, Roberts-Houdin’s vault of marvelous mechanika was relegated to a state of statuesque obscurity and without further possibility of operation or mobility. – Mike Goforth

  177. Benjamin Wayne says:

    THE ANGELIC SYRINGE. Encased in a reinforced glass box, with several highly complex locks to keep it sealed, the syringe is obviously dangerous. Thought lost in the aftermath of the Nazi regime, the syringe found its way to the collection from the private treasury of Adolf Hitler himself. The barrel of the syringe contains a small amount of Qeres. The emerald green liquid is extremely rare, the recipe lost, but small quantities have been found throughout the globe. This syringe of Qeres was used during the Holocaust for the Hashilim Project. The liquid is lethal to all angels and those of angelic descent. Hitler openly injected Jews with minute quantities as it was believed they may have been descended from the Nephilim. Dr. Lambshead held on to the syringe out of curiosity as well as fear for what it could do in the wrong hands.

  178. Suzanne J. Willis says:

    THE RATTENFÄNGER’S FLUTE. A relic that has survived since the thirteenth century, the flute was previously thought deliberately destroyed by fire in 1622. Dr Lambshead acquired it from Professor Edward Ackerley in exchange for molten gold collected from an undersea volcano. It had been recognised as the flute used in 1284 to lure the children of Hamelin from their village after Professor Ackerley and his children mysteriously disappeared, only to be discovered floating on the Baltic Sea in a rudderless boat with ratskin sails. Contrary to popular belief the flute is not made of silver, but carved from a child’s tibia. – Suzanne J. Willis

  179. mattw says:

    WITCH’S TEAT. A greenish, leathery medallion of flesh with a raised bump on the center. The object’s temperature fluctuates, but always remains below freezing, despite the temperature around it. When Dr. Lambshead acquired it in 1938, the item’s temperature was 12 degrees Fahrenheit. When discovered in the cabinet, the item’s temperature was 23 degrees Fahrenheit. The artifact was used as an approximate measure of temperature among nomads who lived in Arctic climates. If outside temperatures became exceedingly cold, they would be measured against the chill of the item. Outside temperatures that were colder than a witch’s teat were thought to be a bad omen. After confirmation of the relative temperature, the wise woman of the village would take the necessary steps to ward against evil.
    Matt Warnock

  180. Angie Rega says:

    GRIFFIN’S EGG SHELL – Wrapped in a cloth woven from Foundress of the Bay of Naples, the Siren Partenope’s feathers and coarse hair, the Griffin’s Egg shell remained enshrouded in its tawny coverlet until it was discovered by cataloger and respected librarian, Antia Censoria.
    By the end of the twelfth century, the Normans in Naples held the black market monopoly on Griffin Eggs. The Mergellian Magi would pierce the eggs with fine narwhal bone needles, and blow the songs of the Mediterannean into them, so old that only the Sirens remember.
    Legend was that the Napolitan Castel D’Ovo, Castle of the Egg, contained an enchanted Griffin’s Egg hidden in its foundations. Should the egg break, Naples would become only ruins and a sea of destruction.
    Antia Censoria believed that this artifact was once a complete egg and could be linked to the destruction that befell the basement and cabinet itself. – Angie Rega

  181. Jonathan Fortin says:

    CUSTARD’S FOOT – This remarkably well-preserved human foot is severed at the ankle and appears to have five cactus spines sticking out from its sole. It is rumored that, upon removing a spine, the foot’s current possessor will have a wish of their choosing granted. However, the rumor continues, should a possessor attempt to remove a second spine, it, as well as the three additional spines, shall shoot out at the victim, and release deadly toxins into his or her body—and they never, it is said, miss their target. After finding a new carrier, the foot allegedly pushes a new spine out through the hole from which its progenitor was plucked. According to a witness who asks not to be named, the foot’s previous possessor attempted to have a second wish granted while wearing a suit of armor, apparently believing that this would stop the spines. He was woefully mistaken.

  182. Kat Clay says:

    ONE NOSE (DRIED). Gifted to Dr. Lambshead at the behest of the Sultanate of Dar Nesa, after his invaluable assistance in the matter of the missing concubine. Cut from the undead face of a night templar, the nose is rumored to have medicinal properties including but not limited to the ailing of lurgies, coughs and gentlemen’s diseases. This nasus mobilitus can also be used as a substitute for facial coverings in the case of a sandstorm, which proved invaluable during the Doctor’s travels through Saharan Africa. While centuries old, the still-living nose has been observed to move in the presence of bad smells and instant chocolate pudding. Further details on this item have been lost.

    See also NASAL MUCOUS (DRIED). – Kat Clay

  183. Victor Tham says:

    HAT OF JULES GABRIEL VERNE, THE. A gray bowler hat, with a darker gray velvet hat band. Once owned by futurist fictionalist, Jules Verne. Contact with the hat grants the wearer great energy and inspiration. According to notes, upon the death of the famed author in 1905, this piece was bought by the Earl of Stockley in an auction. The Earl, over the next few years, was able to turn out a small collection of odd, fantastical short stories that unfortunately have never been published due to his family repressing his attempts at writing for a living. During a party which the Earl attended, the hat was swapped with that of an American visitor and thusly, the hat made its way to the shores of America, where Dr Lambshead was able to acquire the headpiece. – Victor Tham

  184. Top Online Degrees says:

    It is of average, if not somewhat diminished, length and girth with a slightly serpentine shape. Notes suggest the piece has curative attributes, especially regarding relationships or romances.

  185. Grant Stone says:

    KEPLER THE CLOCK. Franz Kepler’s rigorous attention to his many appointments made him susceptible to Chronometrophillia. Initially the disease manifested in twitches of his right hand, as if he were reaching for a pocket watch. Had he sought treatment then, he may have been cured. But Kepler had no time for illness. Gradually, his features began to resemble a clock face. Within a month his moustache would rotate to indicate the time. When his legs became mahogany he adjusted by scheduling meetings in his office, ensuring none would fall on the hour, whereupon he would utter a loud ‘bong’. One Monday Kepler’s colleagues arrived at work to find a grandfather clock behind his desk. Dr. Lambshead purchased the clock some years later from a private collector.

    Kepler is, we assume, still alive. He keeps excellent time and should continue to do so if he is regularly wound. – Grant Stone

  186. Rhys Hughes says:

    REVERSED COMMAS (box of).
    The ordinary comma creates pauses in text; it logically follows that the reversed comma gives prose a push, accelerating it sometimes beyond the point of breathlessness into a blur or scream. A full box of these extremely rare punctuation marks turned up inside a volume on the laws of motion: the pages of that tome had been cut away to make a secret hollow space sufficiently large to securely hold the box. Dr. Lambshead does not remember how the book and thus the box came into his possession. He once sprinkled a handful of reversed commas into a copy of the Highway Code: the text immediately broke its own laws by exceeding the mandatory speed-limit in an urban zone. Reversed commas are more properly known as *ammocs*, hence the phrase “to run ammoc”. Serious attempts to create interstellar engines by composing entire books exclusively with reversed commas are destined to fail: nothing can exceed the speed of lightheartedness. — Rhys Hughes

  187. Elinor Caiman Sands says:

    THE BULLET THAT SHOT ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Almost lost beneath a blanket of soot, these tiny battered fragments changed history. They were found at the bottom of the Cabinet in a box labelled: “Detritus from the .44 calibre Deringer pistol used to Assassinate a President.” These superficially insignificant scraps of metal were originally housed in a Washington museum.
    Purportedly they were shipped to England in the late 1990s at the behest of the wife of then Prime Minister Tony Blair. Precisely what Cherie Booth Blair, distant relative of the murderer John Wilkes Booth, wanted with said relics is unknown. A letter from 10 Downing Street to Mr. Lambshead requested that he keep the items safe “in case of emergency.” Mr Lambshead’s own diaries shed little light on the matter: except for a cryptic reference to Weapons of Mass Destruction and The Hand of History. — Elinor Caiman Sands

  188. Two-Bit Jeremiah says:

    UNIDENTIFIED COLLECTION OF HUMAN REMAINS. Five shrunken heeds, all female, eyes sewn shut with coarse red thread. Skin stained from preparation, but surprisingly little facial distortion. Three are brunette, two redheads. At the nape of each neck are identical sentences in blue ink, translation not found. An additional skull, circumference 62 cm. From the interior of the parietal bone hangs a small key, rusted and stained, with a lock of blue hair tied round the shaft. Entire collection presented in a plain juniper box, lined in blue velvet, with a brass plate on the lid. Inscription obliterated. Acquired by Dr. Lambshead during his travels in the south of France, from a curio dealer who maintained that the collection was originally much larger. Variously dated, perhaps assembled early 15th century. – Two-Bit Jeremiah

  189. Rob Barker says:

    DA VINCI FOLIO SHEET. A sheet of plans from the Codex Atlanticus, blueprinting an architecturally daunting lattice-like structure reminiscent of an upended pillow alongside drawings of cattle and loom-like machinery.

    By 1663, the codex was in possession of the 2nd Earl of Rochester, under whom several hundred men toiled on construction of the mysterious ziggurat. Three years later, when Da Vinci’s folio was taken from its frame, the discovery of instructions on the reverse prescribing a one inch scale, the use of wheat as a building material and the soaking of the finished ‘structures’ in milk confirmed the codex as a design for a breakfast cereal.

    Rochester’s subsequent misappropriation of Jan van der Heiden’s newly invented gooseneck nozzle hose to drown the 80-foot high folly in 300 gallons of milk was an impressive spectacle that nonetheless prevented use of the hose during the great fire of London a week later.

    – Rob Barker

  190. Oliver Kotowski says:

    THE SEA VOYAGE THRONE. The seat with back-rest overstuffed with red velvet is hanged in a gimbal. The seat is movable attached in a steel-circlet, which itself is movable attached in a halved steel-circlet. The gimbal is cased with panels decorated with the colours and heraldy of the German Empire.

    When in 1895 the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal (since 1948 Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, internationally Kiel Chanal) was opened, Wilhelm II. had to take the salute of fifty-five warships on his yacht Hohenzollern. Now, the left arm of the German Emperor was withered, which disturbed his sense of balance – he suffered from extreme seasickness. Therefore he ordered a seat constructed, onto which the tilting motion of the floor would be transferred reduced. Even though the construction was only of small effect, Wilhelm II. was impressed and took it into his Netherlandish exile. There it stayed until after the Second World War, when it was added to the Lambshead-collection.

    – Oliver Kotowski

  191. Alison Ching says:

    TRESSES OF OPHELIA. A variety of Orchis mascula, or early purple orchid (believed to be the “long purples” referred to by Gertrude in Hamlet Act IV, scene vii), found exclusively in areas surrounding Helsingør, Denmark, specifically near bodies of fresh water. Several pressed specimens were discovered in an album belonging to Dr. Lambshead, accompanied by his notes on the folklore and physical properties of the plant. According to local legend, when the flowers are gathered and placed within a confined space, such as a house, the adolescent and adult female occupants of the space begin to experience feelings of mournfulness and romantic melancholia; when the flowers are removed, the feelings abate. Dr. Lambshead noted the similarity of these symptoms to those attributed to a variety of common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsi) found near stream and river beds in southern Britain, known colloquially as Ladies of Shalott. – Alison Ching

  192. Martin Hayes says:

    LETTER TO DR. LAMBSHEAD FROM HOWARD PHILIPS LOVECRAFT (AN AMERICAN WRITER). Dated 15th of March, 1937. Plain notepaper. Unsigned. Script to one side only. Message reads “Thackery . . . no time . . . illness increases . . . . so hard to think now . . . good god man it’s as we supposed. Your theory . . . correct!” Posted by person or persons unknown from Providence, Rhode Island on 17th of March, 1937, two days after the author’s death. The document has recently been analysed under varying wavelengths of ultra violet light which revealed three circular marks, each approximately 2.5” in diameter. Preliminary research based on proteins extracted from the sample indicates that these circular shapes were most likely made by a member of the Architeuthidae family of cephalopods. Further investigation required. – Martin Hayes

  193. Tony Mileman says:

    UNTITLED BOOKLET: Consists of six bound pages obtained by Dr Lambshead from a Prague antiquarian bookshop in January 1947 one month before the Czechoslovak coup d’état, donated to him for safekeeping. The booklet appeared to contain a short story in a Central Moravian Czech dialect. Dr Lambshead, however, was assured the booklet was not what it appeared to be, but an insect, able through mimicry, to imitate any inorganic object placed within a short distance (including its smell). The creature was discovered in one of the ‘Stránska Skála’ Upper Paleolithic caves in the northern outskirts of Brno not long after Professor Svoboda’s archaeological excavations in the summer of 1946. Despite attempting escape many times, the insect was finally secured amongst a collection of obscure short stories by forgotten Czechoslovak writers of early 20th Century Weird Fiction. The insect (booklet) presumed dead. – Dr T Mileman

  194. Siobhan Carroll says:

    HAT OF UNFORTUNATE PYM

    This curious relic of maritime tragedy was acquired by Dr. Lambshead during his search for Symmes’s hollow earth. When his descent into the passages of Tulum’ba was frustrated by the Natives of Those Parts, the good doctor (as readers of his inspiring Antarctic Journal will recall) nearly fell to his death when he grabbed a whaler’s cap rather than a support rope during his flight up the Great Ice Idol.

    “Imagine my consternation,” his diary reports, “when I discovered the words ‘A.G. Pym’ embroidered within the brim of my accidental souvenir! Alas, humanity! For this relic can belong to none other than my unfortunate predecessor, Mr. Pym of Nantucket, whose ordeal of cannibalism and terror no doubt ended here, before the dreaded Idol of Katha’adre.”

    Skeptics have since asserted that the tragic Hat proves only that Pym reached Tulum’ba, and not that he was flambéed by its Natives.

  195. Roby Duncan says:

    Samuel Clemens’s Thundering Sound Block (Cedar Gavel Accompaniment)- Gifted by Samuel Clemens to J. J. Pottenger, M.D, the masonic head of the Polar Star Lodge No. 79 of St. Louis, this brass capped sound block accompanied a gavel cut from the same grove of Lebanese cedar that produced timber for Solomon’s temple. The brass is said to have been recovered from an ancient urn fragment found by Clemens while traveling the Holy Land, and resounds with thunderous tones when struck by the gavel.- Roby Duncan

  196. Rhonda Eudaly says:

    MERCURY RETROGRADE – Dr. Lambshead discovered this device had nothing to do with the stars or zodiac signs when he discovered it in an 1867 Ironside steamboat. This device, when properly attached to the engines allowed for air cooling inside the armored civil war battleship. The Mercury Retrograde recycled the steam from the engines and passed it through wires coated with an icy agent to lower the air temperature and forcing this cooled air through a bellows into the heart of the ship, allowing for longer periods of time inside the ship for silent running or battle purposes. If fully developed, the Mercury Retrograde would have further application in submersible vehicles.

  197. George Ibarra says:

    CULINARY DELIGHTS FROM THE WORLD’S OCEANS-A handsome, brown leather-bound, hand-scribed journal with recipes for rare and uncommon sea animals of the world. Some pages initialed ARD, believed to be Armitage Ranjit Dakkar. Page edges are brittle with age, but otherwise fine with some yellowing. The gastric eccentricities include Trematodes in Kiwi-Tomato Sauce, Cachelots Alobondigas Soup with Oarfish Noodles, Blackspot Chromis and Avacado Ceviche, Kelp Salad with Sea Cucumber Wheels, and Architeuthis Calimari Rings. Recipes are infrequently interrupted with nautical notes and personal asides by the author.-George Ibarra

  198. T.S. Bazelli says:

    THE TOENAIL OF MIDAS. Unlike the famed finger of Midas, the toenail of the legendary Greek King will only give what it touches a golden sheen. In 1952 the toenail was rediscovered by Dr. Mary Finklestein, upon treating several patients for a strange yellow rash, the morning after a party at Dartmouth College. – T.S. Bazelli

  199. Martha Wells says:

    HOOD ORNAMENT FROM ALEISTER CROWLEY’S HISPANO-SUIZA. This Art Deco hood ornament from a 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6 was identified, by the Enochian characters etched onto its surface, as belonging to a vehicle owned by Aleister Crowley. The object itself is not unique as Crowley left behind a number of impedimenta with strange markings, but its provenance sets it aside. It was found by Dr. Lambshead with other remnants of automobile wreckage on the ledge of a mountain in Patagonia, near a site associated with the mythical Wandering City. The cliff face was sheer, only two feet wide, and accessible only by skilled mountain climbers and adventurous goats. – Martha Wells

  200. Graeme Robertson says:

    THE EARTH’S AGONY. Description from torn, faded note found inside Lambshead’s last diary, marked ‘author unknown’:

    ‘As I peered into the gneiss, the city vanished with a sound like the Earth itself screaming; the ground shook and I reached for the rock, which snapped, causing me to fall backwards. When the tumult ceased, the rhizome-like structure remained in my hand, black and vitreous, its broken end oozing soft green marrow that glowed faintly by night. I can carry it no longer, nor the burden of my visions. My hands now look like tubers, and lurid growths festoon my arms. Of the impulses that seize me, more arrestive each day, I shall write nothing for fear that my words themselves might contaminate. My final act as a man shall be to seal this horror in a vacuum. To he who finds it: pray, do not open the jar.’ – Graeme Robertson

  201. George Ibarra says:

    DESICCATED MONKEY’S PAW-A dried monkey’s paw, slightly singed but otherwise in fine condition. Thought to have originated in Asia Minor, and rumored to be cursed. However to look at it, it’s just an ordinary little paw, dried to a mummy. Found in the attic of a home in Islington, London popularly believed to be the former residence of writer, William Wymark Jacobs. A note with the paw states, “hold it up in your right hand and wish aloud.” The note however is not in Jacobs’ handwriting.-George Ibarra

  202. Tony Mileman says:

    correction: ‘1947 one month before the Czechoslovak coup d’état’ the year should be 1948 and *not* 1947 – Dr T Mileman

  203. Nickolas Brienza says:

    THE FORT CHAFFEE POLYHEDRAL DECK: This item consists of fifty-four uncoated paper playing cards in a cardboard sleeve printed with the slogan “Know Your Enemy.” The cards resemble the spotter decks used to train World War Two pilots to recognize Axis aircraft, but in place of aircraft silhouettes each card is illustrated with a different stellated polyhedron and its Schläfli symbol. This is the only known copy of the Fort Chaffee deck in existence and it is regrettably incomplete: the Ace of Spades has been replaced with an ordinary playing card with a similar backing.

    This item was discovered by Dr. Lambshead at a private poker tourney hosted by an acquaintance, a professor of high-energy physics, during his tenure at Los Alamos in the late 1950s. According to his personal correspondence, Lambshead procured the Fort Chaffee deck with “great haste and discretion,” which may explain both his lack of further inquiry into this apparent geometric incursion and the sudden end of his career as a cardsharp.

  204. Nickolas Brienza says:

    (Oops, cut and paste error! Please ignore the previous and consider the following correct-length version instead!)

    THE FORT CHAFFEE POLYHEDRAL DECK:
    This item consists of fifty-four uncoated paper playing cards in a cardboard sleeve printed with the slogan “Know Your Enemy.” The cards resemble spotter decks used to train World War Two pilots, but in place of aircraft silhouettes each card is illustrated with a different stellated polyhedron and its Schläfli symbol. This is the only known copy of the Fort Chaffee deck and it is regrettably incomplete: the Ace of Spades was replaced with an ordinary playing card with a similar backing.

    This item was discovered by Dr. Lambshead at a poker tourney hosted by an acquaintance, a professor of high-energy physics tenured at Los Alamos. According to his personal correspondence, Lambshead procured the Fort Chaffee deck with “haste and discretion,” which may explain both his lack of inquiry into this apparent geometric incursion and the sudden end of his career as a cardsharp.

  205. Donna Quattrone says:

    THREE MERMAID SCALES nestled inside an opalescent shell, rumored to sing upon immersion in seawater. One scale is partial to lullabyes, one favors nursery rhymes, and the other has been known to chant archaic curses in long deal languages. It has never been clearly ascertained which sings what, so experimentation is considered risky. Legend has it that under proper conditions, the combined harmonies of all three scales will directly echo of the music of the spheres and, though their age and origin are unknown, enchantment is almost guaranteed. ~ Donna Quattrone

  206. Abigail Beaver says:

    MUMMIFIED KELPIE. The specimen was discovered in the early 1900’s as the discoverer was traipsing through the sphagnum bogs in Northern Great Britain. It was found mostly intact and resembled that of an unusually small man whose body had been stretched from shoulder to foot and curled into a tight fetal position. The fingers and toes were flattened together in the form of partial hooves. The head was elongated from crown to jaw and owned a set of sharp jagged teeth. The body was mostly bare of hair excepting some long, coarse, black strands that were found clinging to the corpse’s head and neck. Though some believe this specimen is full proof of the faery species of kelpies, others feel it is no more than the jumbled bones of a miniature Celtic horse thief who suffered grave punishment for his crimes. – Abigail Beaver

  207. John Vise says:

    DICE OF GANESHA-
    These surprisingly heavy ivory dice show extreme discoloration and pitting from age. The corners are unevenly rounded and the numerals all but worn away, though were obviously represented not by dots, as is common, but by Nāgarī script. The carvings still contain small flecks of the original paint, flecks that glint as if the paint had been mixed with shavings of some yellowish metal. Curiously, they were found in a sealed glass box, leaving no way to fully examine them without breaking the glass. The label listed only their name and a small notation scrawled in Dr. Lambshead‘s own hand. “Do not use except in deepest of debt.” None of Dr. Lambshead’s associates have yet to recognize the dice, but several remarked that in a long and scholarly life there were indeed many times where he suffered through great financial burdens.
    John Vise

  208. Gabor Csigas says:

    PERSONAL DOOMSDAY DEVICE. What first appeared to be an upper set of prosthetic teeth (with one single, solid golden tooth: the maxillary second premolar) manufactured in the Soviet Union turned out to contain a minuscule contraption. This device was designed to destroy, upon the cessation of its wearer’s brain waves, the whole world by triggering, through broadcasting an amplified and encrypted signal, the launch of a number of long range nuclear missiles from the arsenal of the nuclear superpower. Forensic odontology experts invited to examine the prosthesis using historical dental records provided by the Russian authorities opined that it belonged to no known leader of the communist era.
    The whereabouts of the lower (mandibular) set, presumably required for the activation and operation of the device, is unknown. – Gabor Csigas

  209. Paul Smith says:

    THE DEATH MASK OF THE PRINCESS DE LAMBALLE – The death mask of Madame de Lamballe, Superintendent of the Royal household and close friend and confidante to the Queen, Marie-Antoinette. The mask was cast by Madame Tussaud under duress after Lamballe was murdered in Paris during the September Massacres of 1792, who witnessed her head being placed on a pike and taken to the Temple to be shown to the imprisoned Queen. Believed to have been lost with the majority of Tussaud’s creations, either in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Irish Sea or destroyed in a warehouse fire in 1925, it is unknown how the mask ended up in the possession of the doctor. Inscribed on the case are the words Élargissez madame. While not the most fantastic object in the Lambshead collection, it remains a grim reminder of the terrible things that people are capable of.

  210. Jesse Bullington says:

    DR. LAMBSHEAD’S CHEST OF EARNEST MISTAKES. A repurposed hawthorn crate with the words LIVE SPECIMEN stamped over a faded advertisement for Admiral Brackbeard’s Famous Grog, this container houses an assortment of items Dr. Lambshead acquired due to various misapprehensions. Of particular note are THE COMPLETE LOVE LETTERS OF NAPOLEON, which were penned by a London farrier named Rowland Yelp following his incarceration in Bethlem Royal Hospital, and a pair of calcified human testicles labeled THE BELGIAN MARBLES. Taking up the bulk of the chest is a two thousand year-old mummified Cypriot Poodle that belonged to the Roman statesman Marcus Agrippa—though intriguing on its own merits, this canine was apparently purchased at Sotheby’s in 1974 on the understanding that it was the black dog familiar of 16th century alchemist Heinrich Agrippa, which, by all accounts, was a Whippet.-Jesse Bullington

  211. John Bowker says:

    Beef Under Glass: A solitary remnant of Dr. Lambshead’s blessedly brief foray into the culinary arts, this 7-inch cube of optically-pure crystal encases a slab of gray unappetizing sirloin striped with bright yellow fat. A small piece excised from one corner provides evidence that the gray hue remains uniform throughout the entire portion.

    The result of a post-Malliard exploration into the flavor and texture of meat cooked in vacuum, the experiment proved indistinguishable from any number of dishes at a potluck gathering of Royal Society outcasts and remained untouched save for the single bite taken by Dr. Lambshead later in the evening. Returned home in foil with a small bowl of strawberry trifle, it was immediately preserved and sealed for posterity. (The purpose of the trifle was not recorded and its location is currently unknown.)

  212. Andrea Redman says:

    HOPE CHEST – In 1638, nearly thirty years before publishing his seminal epic poem, Paradise Lost, John Milton purchased a locked hope chest at a fairground outside of Naples, Italy. Despite fervent wanderlust, Milton meticulously budgeted time and money to have the chest ferried with his luggage throughout southern Europe until returning to England in mid 1639.

    Although hope chests are traditionally doweries for unmarried women, Milton’s is unlike any other. Instead of a pleasantly scented cedar his box is composed of ebony emitting a pervasive sulfuric reek. A pattern of diagonal zig-zags has been etched into the wood with fire. Allegedly, Milton procured the key from an anonymous disgraced Cardinal in 1666 and was therefore able to descend a winding staircase existing inside the hope chest. However, this cannot be confirmed because the key again went missing upon his death in 1674.

  213. Katrien Rutten says:

    BUST OF ATHENE. In marble, of unknown provenance; possibly a second century Roman copy of a lost bronze by Kresilas of Athens. The head is typical of the Velletri Pallas, with its strong, sharply defined brow and somewhat melancholy expression; atypical are the eyes, which are inlaid with striated grey opal and onyx to lifelike, even startling effect. The front of the bust is in fine condition, but the same cannot be said for the back, which is befouled by pungent bird droppings of genus Corvus, probably Corvus Corax. A faded, yellowed pawn ticket dated October 9th, 1849, is affixed to the underside of the bust. Requires further investigation, preferably in well-lit, well-aired surroundings. -Katrien Rutten

  214. JeFF Stumpo says:

    THE J.L.B. Journal. This deceptively slim tome appears to be damaged at first glance, as it only opens to the middle. The middle, however, consists of a single page with more than two sides. Each contains a complete story, full of an intriguing combination of places and people from both the real world and the author’s bizarre imagination. While the numerous sides have yet to be cataloged, two conjectures have been made by the attending experts. One, that the number of sides of the middle page is infinite. Two, that the book actually contains only one story, but that story is told in infinite variations.

  215. Jackie Gitlin says:

    SMALL WOODEN BOX. A box with a broken latch and well-used hinges. Inside this rather bland and ordinary box are three pennies, dating 1969, 1976, and 1943. Alongside the pennies is a slip of paper, revealed to be a receipt upon opening. The only thing listed as purchased is: “Thoughts.” The buyer payed 1 cent.

  216. John Teehan says:

    GREAT SIGH GEODE – Extremely rare, and prized by both the medicinal and geological community, the Great Sigh Geode is the only known natural occurrence of Cowder’s Mysterious Gas which, as chronicled in _Cowder’s Cylopedia of the Subarctic_, can either instantly kill the living or revive the dead depending upon the state of being of the recipient. Great care should be used when opening the geode as the gas escapes and dissipates quickly. The item catalogued here has been verified as true; note the milky greenish blue quartz studs peppering the outside. The authors are legally compelled to remind you that the Great Boom Geode, while similar in shape and weight to the Great Sigh, sports milky blueish green quartz studs and is violently explosive. — John Teehan

  217. Chris Cloke says:

    AMANITA PATMOSIA — A cluster of dried mushrooms in a small box, the last known sample of a strain of fungus unique to the isle of Patmos. Prized by monks of Saint John from around 100 AD until the monastery was destroyed by a Muslim raid in the late sixth century, the fungus was considered lost until a religious archeological dig uncovered them in 1840. The mushrooms were cultivated for a time among Christian revivalists, sparking a renewed interest in eschatology. Doctor Lambshead procured the final batch at the estate sale of prophetess E. White in 1915.

    The caps, when ingested, induce powerful hallucinogenic visions of a curiously specific apocalyptic nature. They are said to be ‘sweet in the mouth’, but often cause indigestion shortly thereafter. Curious to see the classic visions associated with the mushrooms, Lambshead consumed two, but later wrote ‘the trumpets were flat, and Babylon was disappointing’. — Chris Cloke

  218. Tracie Welser says:

    PARSIMONIUS SKULL. The foul-smelling skull of a large owl, albeit with three eye-sockets, reputed to be of sentimental value to the doctor because of his dear departed mother’s fondness for owls, particularly those possessing unusual congenital characteristics. Tufted with feathers and a patch of moldering owlflesh, the skull was lost on the moorlands of Tasmania after Lambshead’s porter, a drunkard named Hendrick Carmichael, gambled it away on a wager with an unnamed fellow traveler. According to Carmichael’s widow, the skull answered yes/no questions with astonishing accuracy and foresight, blinking with eerie illumination from within, once for yes and twice for no; this amounted to a useful basis for gambling and drinking games. Found in Lambshead’s cabinet neatly wrapped in a pair of striped shorts thought to belong to legendary pugilist Gerald Jenkins, known to be on walkabout in Australia at the time of the doctor’s travels to Tasmania.
    –Tracie Welser

  219. S. Michael White says:

    DESTRESSE MARBLE – Nested in cloth lining inside an unassuming wooden box rests a palm-sized, glass ball which Dr. Lambshead obtained from his London colleague, Dr. Samuel Islington Koseaus. The box once held another glass marble but all that remains is an impression in the soft lining. As a man of Science, Dr. Lambshead dutifully documented the reactions of each individual holding the marble. When grasped, the marble induced feelings of anxiety, worry, oppression and torment in most individuals. Dr. Lambshead had noted that some became irritable, angry and violent. A rare few actually became excited. Dr. Koseaus had informed Dr. Lambshead that the marble’s twin was dubbed the “phobias” ball but was rather taciturn as to its disposition. Dr. Lambshead posited that if both marbles were held together the holder might experience feelings of overwhelming grief and depression; continued contact might result in suicidal acts, but these were only hypotheses. – S. Michael White

  220. E. Wilson Young says:

    CAPSTONE TO THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE – Heart of the infamous boondoggle: the bridge was actually meant to link with an arctic Avalon. Due to bad press, the arch bridge remained unfinished in our world; however, synchronized with lei lines, it could open a doorway to another world containing its counterpart. Or so it did until the theft of the capstone when the bridge became the incomplete thing it appeared, split at the gateway like an imploring arm, reaching out to its companion across an impenetrable void. A rival senator extracted the pivotal piece. Some say he took it to construct his own bridge in his state for the tourist dollars; others, that he was a man of the people, striking against big government. And some say, in love with one of the Alaskan senators responsible, a woman from the other party, and, terrified that she would slip across the barrier, he maimed the bridge.

  221. Christopher Ryan says:

    THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. The end result of one of countless failed experiments performed by Dr. Q. Westmond Fields as recovered from his home laboratory shortly after his death. A brown glass jar containing a partially petrified human eye with attached optic nerve, suspended in a formaldehyde and saline mixture. The doctor’s personal journals (June 6, 1918 – Sept 22, 1918) discuss at length both the processes used in the attempted “recorpulization” of the organ, as well as the application of its use if and when the transformation could ever be completed. The doctor speculated on all manner of practical applications from medical to military to alchemistic.

    Cryptozoologists throughout the world continue to debate the validity of Dr. Fields’ claims of locating the so-called Chilean Medusa Beetle, as well as his journal’s allusions as to the fate of his life long assistant who apparently first stumbled upon the tiny Arthropod. – Christopher Ryan

  222. Jacob Garbe says:

    BEZALEL’S ALEPH. This fragment of fired clay, according to its accompanying purchase record, was given in exchange for an unlabeled 14th century Talmudic scroll. On the fragment is inscribed the Hebrew character responsible for deanimating the golem purportedly responsible for the 16th century serial murders in Prague. The signature on the purchase record is M. Shatternick, a fellow purveyor of oddities known to share Dr. Lambshead’s interest in esoteric effluvium.

  223. deflective says:

    QUILL OF THE MUSE.
    What worlds this spine must hold, secrets shining.
    Waiting time uncounted for hand and eye
    To set to paper some half-formed inkling,
    Fully versed before you need start to try.
    Lifetimes past it was hidden in a fan,
    Woven there by a hunting lady’s hand.
    She hoped to catch the eye of one high man;
    A hint of promise, together they stand.
    Now it is used as a pen yet again
    And the black flowing ink is fierce in joy.
    This quill of shining secrets, ragged pain,
    The hand that holds it becomes a mere toy.
    My only hope, the one thing left to pray,
    Is release once my work is done today.

  224. John Leavitt says:

    VIAL OF INVISIBILITY INK. Ink that, when applied, causes paper to become diaphanous. Extracted from a rare female specimen of Carthusian Unseen Squid caught in 1867 in the Sunda Straight by a local fisherman. He sold it in Teluk Betung to Edouard van Agteren, an elderly man rumoured to be a former monk who had fled to the Dutch East Indies with a lover. van Agteren extracted the squid’s ink — no small feat given that the squid cannot be see with the naked eye — and created a tincture using Chartreuse as the spiriting agent. The squid species is believed to have become extinct with the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, and so little is known of the ink’s properties or how it could be recreated. – John Leavitt

  225. Ria Ora says:

    HEART’S DESIRE

    Provenance unknown, materials unknown, value unquantifiable. Animal, vegetable or mineral? Material or immaterial? Or some variation. We have no description, no documentation, even a scant or sketchy, save that one age-browned index card with the article’s name made out in, all agree, the late doctor’s hand. Only ineluctable mystery remains. Perhaps reduced to nothing by time despite best effort to preserve it, eaten by mice or flown away by its own power. Perhaps here still, undiscovered, mislaid, mislabeled, rolled into a crack, fallen behind a chaise sofa. Presumably, one would recognize it if one found it. — Ria

  226. Timothy Walker says:

    Caul of Margaret Brown. Preserved in an intricately carved box of rare African Blackwood, this dry sheet of amniotic membrane at one time covered the face of an unknown newborn at birth. Now perfectly preserved, it came to be in the possession of Mrs. Brown through unknown means; however, the box also contains a bill of sale, handwritten and in French, indicating the caul was purchased in early 1912 in Cherbourg, France. The superstitious may recall the widely-held belief that those in possession of cauls are forever protected from death by drowning, and Mrs. Brown’s fame after surviving the April 1912 sinking of RMS Titanic has been well documented (i.e. “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”). Rumors that the caul originally covered the face of Mlle. Ginette Leclerc, French actress (b. 9 February 1912) and star of the 1970 film “Tropic of Cancer” remain unconfirmed.

  227. Jessica A. Hutchins says:

    VERA VOX. Held captive in an irregular hinge-top box inscribed with modified Cyrillic lettering, this disembodied human voice wantonly speaks unwanted truths and unnecessary lies. Delivering its acerbic, often malignant, whispers to the individual listening ear, it has yet to divulge its own origins. Several attendees of a certain New York salon—hosted by the French expatriate, Mme. Petitmouton, between 1925 and 1928—report overhearing Dr. Lambshead describe his initial encounter with Vera Vox near Rome’s Trevi Fountain earlier in that same decade. Some recall hearing the doctor describe how a dark-haired woman pressed the box into his hand with a crooked smile. Others vehemently maintain that the doctor rescued this unassuming object from its resting place in a Roman gutter, where it kept company with the twisted remains of cigarette butts, a few clotted pigeon feathers, and momentarily, the toe of the doctor’s left shoe. –Jessica A. Hutchins

  228. Andrew Penn Romine says:

    River-God’s Spleen – This curious artifact, an oblong leather sac similar to an overlarge American football, was found at the bottom of an antique cedar crate imprinted with the seal of the Blue Nile Shipping Company. It is likely that the crate came into Dr. Lambshead’s possession during his exploratory dig near Thebes, but it remained unopened until after his death. Contained within was a brittle layer of dried flowers (flame lilies, pink lotus, and purple crocuses), and beneath them the mummified sac. A tag with the inscription “River-God’s Spleen” (written in a formal and archaic Coptic script) was tied to one end. When the mottled, stiff tissue of the strange organ was bisected, researchers found inside hundreds of desiccated flower bulbs in various stages of germination. Some bulbs had begun to grow into flowers—delicate specimens of G. Abyssinica N. Nucifera, and C. Sativus. – Andrew Penn Romine

  229. Timothy Walker says:

    CAUL OF MARGARET BROWN. Preserved in an intricately carved box of rare African Blackwood, this dry sheet of amniotic membrane at one time covered the face of an unknown newborn at birth. Now perfectly preserved, it came to be in the possession of Mrs. Brown through unknown means; however, the box also contains a bill of sale, handwritten and in French, indicating the caul was purchased in early 1912 in Cherbourg, France. The superstitious may recall the widely-held belief that those in possession of cauls are forever protected from death by drowning, and Mrs. Brown’s fame after surviving the April 1912 sinking of RMS Titanic has been well documented (i.e. “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”). Rumors that the caul originally covered the face of Mlle. Ginette Leclerc, French actress (b. 9 February 1912) and star of the 1970 film “Tropic of Cancer” remain unconfirmed. – Timothy Walker

  230. Alan Swirsky says:

    DRAGON’S CLAW SCULPTURE. A small, stone sculpture of the hand of a dragon or some other scaled mythological beast. The object is about eight inches tall, from the base of the wrist to the fingertips, and about four inches wide. Being made of stone, perhaps granite or worn marble, the sculpture was unharmed by the fire, though its finer features have been marred with a thick layer of ash. Notable here is the presence of different types of ash: black, heavy ash from the wooden shelves as well as small flakes of what may have been a paper substance surrounding very fine, almost powder-like black-and-white debris. Many of the pages of notes on the object were lost in the fire, except for a post-it note found underneath the sculpture, dated 13 November 1992, which exclaims, “Found this at a yard sale in Hammond. I like the way it holds it up like that.” —Alan Swirsky

  231. Joel Davis says:

    BONE DICE – Two dice, origin not yet ascertained (Vishwa insists the Soliel Levant). One a stale milky white with black pips, the other charred black with inset rubies. The dice are ‘twinned': when rolled together they total to the number of years the thrower has left to breathe.

  232. Ria says:

    fifth sentence of “Heart’s Desire” should read:

    “We have no description, no documentation, even scant or sketchy, save that one age-browned index card with the article’s name made out in, all agree, the late doctor’s hand.”

  233. Isabella says:

    WIT OF APHRA BEHN (AGENT & PLAYWRIGHT). Crescent-shaped clippings secured in brown muslin from the foot of the bawdy playwright and Restoration spy herself. Born in Wye, the fledgling writer concocted her most creative act when, unmarried, she claimed the widow’s pension on arrival in London to fund pamphleteering and information-sourcing abroad. It is speculated the subject was accustomed to unpeeling her stockings and flinging the disparate sediments therein over handy balconies. Sample was collected under the dampers of a flyblown fortepiano excavated from a decaying orchestra pit in an Antwerp theatre by descendents and devoted debauchees. Specimens have intensified to a sulphuric sheen; the bag itself is embroidered with alchemical triple suns and words from her gravestone: “Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be / Defence enough against Mortality”. Reanimation, pending discovery of vials of blood once secreted inside her corsets, should prove this satiric. – Isabella Edquist

  234. Karrie says:

    TRESS OF FLAXEN HAIR, 17.2 METERS IN LENGTH. Encased in a decaying velvet pouch of indeterminate age, this lock of hair, though of human origin, has unusual tensile strength and extent; it was acquired, quite by accident, from a rip in the binding of a book, author unknown, entitled, “Grimoire of Malicia, Herball an remedia physicalia”, ca. 1532, and contains traces of elements–sodium chloride, calcium residue–comprising human tears. –Karrie Meyer

  235. Samantha Goodfellow says:

    SHADOW BOX. Glass case (2m x .5m x .5m, not including display stand) containing oak wall and attached shadow of Romanian youth. Purchased at auction in the early 1960’s from C. F. Clarke
    (retired military), it was originally crafted to insure a building’s stability at the dual costs of the victim’s post-life temperament and post-life dietary needs. When questioned how he came upon the item, Clarke muttered the phrases “vile palinka” and “wretched mudhole and its damn unpleasant women.” Further research suggests the existence of a companion piece (containing the mutilated body of Petru Ionescu), however, the set was left incomplete at the time of Dr. Lambshead’s death and is believed to reside in a private collection. – Samantha Goodfellow

  236. Jeff Barr says:

    DANTE KEY. A small bone figurine, painted scarlet. The paint is worn and scuffed, and there is a keyhole shaped opening in the bottom of the figure. The head of the figure is flat and serrated, much like a key. A brass key is tethered to the piece, along with a note. ‘A. Insert figure into lock. B. Insert Key into figure. C. Turn Key. D. Open door. E. Pray.’ –Jeff Barr

  237. Aradhana says:

    NERO’S FIDDLE: Stringed musical instrument, slightly charred, with a 36-inch neck and deeply curving bowl. Notches on the bridge allow for three strings, possibly in the Byzantine mode. While the quality of the woodwork is undeniable, extensive mother-of-pearl inlays and various semi-precious stones encrusting the neck raise questions as to its practical playability. Reputed to have been plucked by Nero himself, the instrument was sold to Dr. Lambshead in 1955 by a travelling Romanian fleeing Prague. In exchange for two cigarettes and a newly coined word, ‘confuddle’ (see “The Lost Words of the Travelling People”, Bacon et. al., 1622) the Romanian assured the good doctor that the fiddle, properly stringed, would produce a ‘most tuneful lament for the fall of Rome’. A small packet containing coils of catgut is taped to the back of the charred bowl, with a note from Dr. Lambshead: “…is, in fact, a liar.” -Aradhana Choudhuri

  238. Ria says:

    next-to-last sentence typo:

    “Perhaps here still, undiscovered, mislaid, mislabeled, rolled into a crack, fallen behind a chaise longue or a sofa.”

  239. Harlequinade says:

    XASTUR’S BOX: Rumoured to contain the final remains of Lord Xasthur Johan Jefferies, whose hyper-alchemy experiments in breakfast wine led him to be nicknamed “The Lord of the Drunken Lard”, the Box is a strange piece of animatronica which is said to emanate an uncomfortable hum when placed near lingerie. Originally acquired from a toothless beggar in the swamp canals of Paris, the Box was later lost and did not resurface until it was acquired by the Peruvian Ankle Brotherhood, from whom it is, according to the records found stuffed into a crack in the Box, on short term loan. – Harlequinade

  240. Ria says:

    oh screw it. might as well revise it, too.

    “HEART’S DESIRE

    Provenance unknown, materials unknown, value unquantifiable. Animal, vegetable or mineral? Material or immaterial? Or some or all or none of the above. We have no description, no documentation, even a scant or sketchy one, save that age-browned index card written out out in the late doctor’s hand. Only ineluctable mystery remains. Perhaps reduced to nothing by time despite his best efforts to preserve it, perhaps eaten by mice or flown away by its own power. Perhaps here still, undiscovered, mislaid, mislabeled, rolled into a crack, fallen behind a sofa. Presumably, one would recognize it if one found it. — Ria”

  241. Sir Tessa says:

    MUFFIN; ENGLISH. Spread with Marmite and butter, mixed at a ratio of 30/70. Half-eaten. Presumably lost by the doctor while working amidst his collection, and presumably replaced as the doctor did not die of starvation. Radiates mild aura of hurt and rejection. Consumption will inevitably lead to the infestation of abandonment issues, and an intense dislike of Marmite. – Tessa Kum

  242. Damon Ellis says:

    THE RASPUTIN EGG. Gold and silver ornamental egg, set with cabochon sapphires, lapis lazuli, and onyx. From the workshop of Peter Carl Fabergé, the egg was commissioned in early 1916 by Grigori Rasputin as a gift for Tsaritsa Alexandra. Fabergé left firm instructions that the egg should remain chilled at all times. Prior to its disappearance during the October Revolution, it was kept in a custom-made icebox in the Imperial Apartments. The egg originally opened to reveal a miniature replica of Rasputin himself, made of gold, coated in vitreous enamel, and topped with lifelike hair and a beard of unknown material. The cabinet, however, contains only the exterior of the egg. It is accompanied by a smoke-yellowed tag which reads, in the handwriting of Dr. Lambshead, “Hatched.” – Damon Ellis

  243. Alex Dally MacFarlane says:

    BEESWAX CANDLE. Carved in the form of a hand-standing boy with four fox-tails and a very pointy face. During a power-cut in Dr. Lambshead’s house, the group examining some of the cabinet’s curiosities lit the candle, among others, to guide their work. It sang in a strange language for almost a minute before one of the group extinguished the flame. At the end of the day, the candle was removed by Dr. Rikore, and the story goes: he put it in his own house’s basement and lit it each evening, recording the song. Its little mouth continued moving even as its feet and legs melted, as its tails dripped over its face. The renowned linguist tried to interpret its language, desperate to receive an honoured place in the forthcoming publication regarding Dr. Lambshead’s cabinet, but each expansion of lyrical vocabulary merely added to his confusion. Only the collapsed shoulders, head and arms remain, still capable of singing, preserved by Dr. Rikore to assist the future breakthrough he still hopes for in his work with the recorded material. – Alex Dally MacFarlane

  244. Janie says:

    THE MUNGO PATERNOSTER. Charred remains of alabasterite sculpture depicting the joined head of explorer Mungo Park and Death. Eleven ½ inch beads constructed of paper. Historians identified the original paper as loose scraps from Park’s journal, sold as religious charms in 1796 on Park’s return from Nigeria. See also Mungo Park 1799 Travels in the Interior of Africa. According to Dr. Lambshead, the religious charms were no more than badly written phrases translated from undetermined passages of the Koran. In spite of this, the charms were soon discovered to be Indestructible and collected over a period of fifty years. How the charms became beads for the paternoster is debated. Dr. Lambshead purchased the paternoster as part of a collection of personal property owned by adventurer George Hogg who died in 1945 at Shandan district in China. – Jane Harrison

  245. Cabinet of Curiosities Micro Fiction « Prehistory Ranch says:

    [...] a rather interesting micro fiction open submission yesterday.  It is for the upcoming publication The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities.  Submissions called for a 100 – 150 word description of an unusual object found within the [...]

  246. Harry Markov says:

    LAST LEAF OF THE FIRST WEEPING WILLOW. Encased in glass, and framed with silver wrought in the Baroque fashion, this herbarium preserves the single remaining leaf of the first Weeping Willow. Christian scholars believe that the first willow to weep witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus at Golgotha. Upon seeing the anguish-stricken Holy Mother, the once joyful willow tree veiled its trunk with its branches in guilt for its joy. According to myth, even the slightest skin contact with the leaf allows the individual touching it to cry tears of purest heartache. If speculations are to be believed, these tears, much like mystical phoenix tears, possess miraculous properties. – Harry Markov

  247. Janet says:

    BRASS DOOR KNOB. Badly tarnished, featuring a decorative pattern of sycamore leaves. Brass spindle attached, in similar condition. Back plate appears to be missing. Label attached to the shank with twine has the name ‘Wotton’ written upon it in black ink. WARNING – unusually cold to the touch; persons handling the item may experience acute discomfort. An examination of Dr. Lambshead’s diary of May 13, 1957, reveals a consolatory visit to Wotton Hall in Yorkshire, where he was given the item for safe keeping and was urged by Lord Wotton ‘…never to let it see the light of day.’ Further research indicates that Lord Wotton committed suicide a month after the visit, by all accounts extremely distraught after the mysterious disappearance of his beloved wife and two sons in March of the same year. He left behind a thriving £17m estate and no heirs. – Janet Joyce Holden

  248. Amy Willats says:

    SKULL – Human, probably male. Physically unremarkable. Attached tag reads “B.S. London, 20/4/1912.” The skull is in all respects normal except during the New Moon of every month when it screams uncontrollably.

  249. jimmy huckaby jr says:

    Snow globe- A handheld snow globe containing the lost city of Atlantis. When shaken, the ocean waters churn to the top and come crashing down drowning the city and its inhabitants. The people of Atlantis seem to sense when a flood is about to occur. They scramble inside their buildings waiting for the water to drain back into the ocean. The entire process takes approximately thirty six hours.
    An inscription in an unknown language circles the base. Some believe it tells the story of how the city became encased inside the globe, others believe it’s a magical chant, if read, would break the globe releasing the greatest city in history back to its original size. – Jimmy Huckaby jr

  250. David Szydloski says:

    The Four Ringsels of Yeshe Wangpo (in Memorial Stupa) — Though the Fifth Dalai Lama banned the search for the reincarnation of the Gelugpa lama Dragpa Gyalten, the tülku was nonetheless reborn many years later in a sickly youth from Chamdo, later given the religious name Yeshe Wangpo. After a difficult life of clandestine scholarship, Yeshe, in an attempt to win recognition for his reincarnation, joined the monks who fought Lieutenant Colonel Younghusband’s army at Guru only to become one of the hundreds of Tibetans slaughtered during the British attempt to establish market relations with Lhasa. After the body was cremated, four pearl-like ringsels were found in the ashes, clearly a reference to four of the five hindrances Yeshe Wangpo had overcome as a spiritual master. The hindrance not overcome is a hotly debated topic in the monastic community to this very day, and is not mentioned in polite conversation.

  251. David Szydloski says:

    The Four Ringsels of Yeshe Wangpo (in Memorial Stupa) — Though the Fifth Dalai Lama banned the search for the reincarnation of the Gelugpa lama Dragpa Gyalten, the tülku was nonetheless reborn many years later in a sickly youth from Chamdo, later given the religious name Yeshe Wangpo. After a difficult life of clandestine scholarship, Yeshe, in an attempt to win recognition for his reincarnation, joined the monks who fought Lieutenant Colonel Younghusband’s army at Guru only to become one of the hundreds of Tibetans slaughtered during the British attempt to establish market relations with Lhasa. After the body was cremated, four pearl-like ringsels were found in the ashes, clearly a reference to four of the five hindrances Yeshe Wangpo had overcome as a spiritual master. The hindrance not overcome is a hotly debated topic in the monastic community to this very day, and is not mentioned in polite conversation. — David Szydloski

  252. Milton Gray says:

    Dissertation on Electromagmatism. Leather bound, interspersed with hand drawn skematics and lithographical representations. The work describes a method for induction and transfer of electricity and electrical signal using the natural thermodynamic energies of the earth’s crust and molton core. Although no author is given, it seems reasonable to assume it is one of the early works of Nikola Tesla, indeed some of the notations in the margins are in his native Serbian tongue. Research into the phenonmenom appears to have ended abruptly in 1883 and to have coincided with the eruption of Mount Krakatoa.

  253. TheLivingNick says:

    SOUTH AMERICAN INSULT STONE. This item came into the Doctor’s possession by way of his drawing room window, through which the stone was hurled one evening. Six inches in diameter and almost perfectly spherical, one side of the stone had been carved into a stylized face reminiscent of Incan art. Upon picking up the stone, Dr. Lambert was greeted by a voice emanating from within, which addressed him gruffly and at length in an obscure South American dialect, centuries dead. Transcribing and translating the words took over a week. It turned out that the stone had in fact been insulting the Doctor, calling into question both his parentage and personal hygiene, among other things. Though the stone had obviously been thrown by a rival or malcontent, Dr. Lambshead was far too enamored of the device to dispose of it. – Nicholas Troy

  254. Rai says:

    EMPTY GRIMOIRE BINDING. Dr. Lambshead borrowed this nearly empty binding from a library near his house days before the library was destroyed by a bomb. It was never returned. The covers once contained a grimoire which was banned in several countries. The binding holds a few sheets of annotations in each of several different languages, including Arabic, Catalan, Proven̤al, and French. The remaining pages, comprising the actual text the annotations refer to, have been removed with a razor. РRai Burnett

  255. Jennifer Harwood-Smith says:

    THE DINNER BELL OF THE MARY CELESTE. Dr. Lambshead acquired the bell due to a chance meeting with an old school chum who knew of a private auction that had not been widely advertised. The bell, which was present when the Mary Celeste was towed into Genoa, was found to be absent when the ship was inspected in Gibraltar. The couple who presented the bell for auction in 1893 claimed to have snuck aboard the derelict ship as children while it was in Genoa, and to have taken the artefact as a memento. They asserted that ringing the bell caused a curious sensation in the back of the head, as well as a desire to go swimming, and as such, was unsuitable as a dinner bell due to the dangers of swimming immediately after a meal. Experimentation at a boy’s school next to a lake in the summer provided inconclusive data about the bell’s efficacy in this regard, though it has been theorised by some that there must be a meal present to cause the bell’s unusual effect. – Jennifer Harwood-Smith

  256. Timothy Black says:

    THE MUZZLE OF SAINT HUBERT. Deep gouges in the rusted iron framework mar this intricate clockwork contraption. A series of interlocking gears allow the device to adjust its length and breadth to accommodate a wide variety of facial configurations from human to lupine while still maintaining the strength to lock its victim’s jaws into place. Dr. Lambshead’s notes indicate that it was discovered deep in a desolate Hungarian ossuary where it lay attached to a misshapen skull that had been hidden beneath the chapel’s floorboards. Legend held that if the muzzle were to be removed a great curse would spring forth and destroy humanity; scoffing at their forbears’ ignorance the locals sold the device to the doctor for a pittance. Verification of the piece’s authenticity has been difficult as the village mentioned in the doctor’s notes appears to have been abandoned several years ago. – Timothy Black

  257. Kaolin Imago Fire says:

    LEARY’S PINEAL BODY. This epiphysis cerebri was pickled in vivo by the late American psychologist most famous for his mantra “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Dr. Leary opened gates heretofore unknown beyond the speculations of Howard Lovecraft, and this gland is noteworthy for its ability to have survived multiple encounters with beings from beyond–and otherwise. Research is pending a way to safely experiment on it; the Stanford Aslyum has a special wing for those who have attempted to date. – Kaolin Imago Fire

  258. Rachel Turner says:

    SALEHURST’S STETHOSCOPE. An unremarkable looking 2-sided acoustic stethoscope with black tubing. Originally owned by the eminent Dr Jeremy Salehurst. At some point during his travels deep into the Amazon the stethoscope got damaged and was repaired for Dr Salehurst by the shaman of the tribe he was working with at the time. Which tribe and their exact location remain unclear from his records. Following its repair Dr Salehurst was able to listen to sounds he later identified as the otherwise inaudible frequencies of the soul. These ethereal intonations were used by Dr Salehurst in aiding him to tailor his unorthodox treatments to the unique vibrations of each soul. Realising that the stethoscope could be used for malign purposes as well as good, Dr Salehurst passed the scope on to Dr Lambshead partly for safekeeping and for use in his own research shortly before his untimely death in 1982. – R Turner

  259. James Hargrove says:

    TESLA’S CATALOG – Cloth bound book 11” x 10” x 2”. The book contains, in Dr. Lambshead’s writing, a list of items that the good Doctor identified as potentially belonging to Nikola Tesla. There are 2492 entries. The entries are divided between objects (items owned, but not constructed by Tesla), relics (body parts said to belong to Tesla) and devices (items constructed by Tesla). Each entry contains a name, description and a determination by Lambshead on the item’s possible authenticity. Lambshead’s judgements range the gamut from “virtually certain” (shinbone), to “theoretically possible, albeit unlikey” (ashes) to “laughable, at best” (pencil box) to “childish imposture” (Dissertation on Electromagnetism). – James Hargrove

  260. Gina Black says:

    LEFT-HANDED YAK SCRAPER. This well-worn wooden spatula was reputed to belong to a Buddhist monk named Kee Ying Wai who had taken a vow of silence and yet, paradoxically, was well-known for his yakking. His vow, combined with a horrible sense of direction, caused his monastery head no end of headaches, forcing other monks to repeatedly search for their lost Kee. Luckily, he had a handsome yak and the beauty of his yak’s pelt was always remembered by those whom the monks talked with. The question remains: was it the monk or the yak that was left-handed? – Gina Black

  261. Nancy says:

    ETHIOPIAN DRAGON’S HORN. A creature said to live in and around Ethiopia in 1000 – 800 BC. Standing at over 70 feet tall—with a wingspan of 30 feet—the giant creatures were reportedly used in combat or kept as pets. Animals with rough, lizard-like skin, both the males and females had two horns on either side of the head. These were ivory, similar to elephant tusks but spanning 15 to 20 feet in length. Thought to hold magical powers, the horns, in fact, are from where smoke or sometimes fire emanated, not the mouth as once believed. After a natural death, or one from combat, their horns were collected and used as a powerful medicine. This one, with a small fissure at the top still warm to the touch, is believed to belong to a dragon-pet of Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. – Nancy Greene

  262. Ramona Gardea says:

    DISCO INFERNO: Procured in 1979 from a John Doe patient in Ward 54 of the St. Vitus Home for Unbalanced Dancers. An original 13th century book reputedly penned by Dante Alighieri following an all night carousal on his 21st birthday involving Chianti. Discovered intact amid the rubble of the fire that consumed part of Dr. Lambshead’s collection; the flame retardant properties of the volume’s powder blue polyester dust cover spared it from being enGuelphed in tongues of flame. A steady four-on-the-floor rhythmic beat is felt whenever the tome is held. When it is opened, the mingled scents of Enjoli and Hai Karate waft over the reader and some readers experience a visual disturbance similar to a strobe light. However, excessive exposure to the book may lead to a “contact high” similar to the experience of ingesting of a moderate amount of cocaine or similar substances. –Ramona Gardea

  263. Leigh Kellogg says:

    THE FRISK PANELS: Nine colored panels of indiscernible origin, content largely unknown. Acquired from previous owner Mr. Miaou in 1997 as a settlement for an issue listed in Dr. Lambshead’s notes only as “miscellaneous debts”, the panels remain secured in the partially opaque locked box they were sent in, at the Doctor’s request. The front panel is partially visible in the box, and consists of a phrase in an unknown script and a sketch of a unnamed creature underneath, largely resembling a modern feline but with particularly enlarged orbital features. The panels are generally thought to contain instructions for religious rites, though more fantastic legends claim the panels themselves have supernatural powers, including the ability to control human thought and behavior. Despite instructions as noted, the box is to be opened next month for thorough investigation and study, at previous owner’s request. — Leigh Kellogg

  264. Greg Lincoln says:

    Poisoners Grail. Un-detailed clay pottery bowl removed ruins of Ottoman Museum following the shoot of Archduke Ferdinand and prior to the the looting of the Museum. Made its reappearence in the home of Dead Libertine Burton in London. Described as the bowl used to poison Socrates and ever after seen as a loadsotne for tragedy. Strangely came into Dr Lamshead possession prior to the loss of seceral items from the Cabinet. Undoubtedly a fake but of interest for the hands that have head it. See item 2893 list of owners. List lost in fire. – Greg L

  265. Greg Lincoln says:

    Reliquary index finger bone in a stoppered glass tube acquired Tunisia turn of the century. Seller claimed the bone to be from the legendary christian leper knight from the second crusade collected from his bedroom by a moorish concubine and not on the battlefield as other tales apparently claim. Bone undeniable old and human but sold cheaply by a cagey street urchin beggars its authenticity. Brought out at Salon night to inspire tales of war lust heroism and corruption; surprisingly good muse. – Greg Lincoln

  266. Greg Lincoln says:

    Lenses of Tomasi, Three (one shatterd) 16th century hand ground glass lenses made by apprentice Lietro Tomasi (inscription on the gold rims and filigree detail identify the maker) supposedly for Galileo Galilee rejected by the esteemed gentleman for his attempts to make a long distance viewing device. Lietro claimed that the tri lenses set in the extending tube device one could see the edge of the world. A 19th century english noble Grace Lord Whitehall remade the telescope to the grinders specifications and set in the ornate lenses he purchased while in Italy. His wife looked to the west and claimed to see the seas becoming an illuminated map scroll as the horizon took the parchment out of her sight.
    There was no note as to what Grace saw but he destroyed the scope measurements and broke the concave silver gilded lens. – Greg Lincoln

  267. Clayton Kroh says:

    TYCHO BRAHE’S SNAKEWOOD CASE OF NASAL PROSTHESES, WITH PUTTY – One of several artifacts in Dr. Lambshead’s collection once owned by renowned Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the case contains an incomplete set of prosthetic noses and a small pot of putty. Having lost the bridge of his nose in a night duel, Brahe devoted himself to the metallurgic pursuit of the perfect replacement nose. The putty, now desiccated into a gray and glittering powder, is rumored to have been concocted by Brahe’s recondite dwarf, Jepp, whose activities while sequestered beneath the daily dinner table were apparently as much alchemical as comical in nature. Only two noses remain, with space for a third. Research reveals that these were likely Brahe’s party noses, fashioned each of copper, and a gold-silver alloy, fashioned into a moose’s head (presumably a memorial to his beloved beer drinking pet) and a smoked herring, respectively. – Clayton Kroh

  268. Morgan Dempsey says:

    MAXWELL’S DEMON.

    A sealed glass cube measuring approximately 30cm across, crafted ca 1872 by Johann Christoph Riedel’s disembodied spirit, encases a hunched black creature composed primarily of scales and smoke. A thin dividing wall runs through the centre of the cube, a small door allowing passage between the two halves. The demon appears to enjoy opening and closing the door at odd intervals; otherwise it can be found resting, or oiling its leathery thorax.

    If left unattended, one face of the cube will become unaccountably hot, the opposite equally cold. It’s suspected this is caused by the demon, though this remains unproven. Riedel has cleverly incorporated a switch allowing an external operator to open the door, restoring equilibrium. Use sparingly, as this causes the demon to fling itself against the walls and use its array of mandibles to hum a few measures of a song that unravels time.

    — Morgan Dempsey

  269. William Halliar says:

    RIVENSWODE’S SPECTROLUXE SCRIVENER’S HELM –
    According to a lymph-spattered pamphlet found wadded in the packing crate beneath the helmet, it was originally produced by the Swiss Academy of Noetic Studies to “isolate the tortured mind of the sensitive from the constant barrage of invisible Universal Emanations and dampen the chattering ejecta produced by the modern world” while simultaneously “harnessing hidden truths from the ancient, throbbing engine of earth’s forgotten spectral history and bringing them, whole and fully formed, into prominence in the author’s forebrain”. Whether or not Dr. Lambshead ever used the helmet is subject to debate. A thick sheaf of bloodstained notes was found in the crate with the helmet but, since they were written in a complicated unknown language, no progress has been made deciphering them to date. Expert graphologists assure us that the handwriting is not Dr. Lambshead’s, while hematologists agree that the blood most definitely is. – Prof. William R. Halliar II

  270. Robert Shearman says:

    MOTECUHZOMA’S BLOWPIPE (c.1430) The blowpipe was the weapon of choice for many of the more fashionable Aztecs, being a long hollow stick capable of shooting clay balls with deadly accuracy. The version here is the strange curved blowpipe that bends back on itself at one hundred and eighty degrees, so that the blowpiper in question can puff himself to death. Developed originally by depressed Aztecs who were bored of life in the fourteenth century in what was seen largely as a degenerative sacrifice-obsessed culture, it became increasingly more popular in the fifteenth century when the Spanish conquistadores began to kill them and destroy all trace of their civilisation; a lot of Aztecs were really rather miserable around this time. The item is misnamed; poor Motecuhzoma died by other more unpleasant means, and on balance may well have preferred to end it all by use of the blowpipe. – Robert Shearman

  271. James says:

    CRICKET BAT. 96.5 centimeters in length and 10.75 centimeters in width, constructed on the island of Redonda and procured by Dr. Lambshead from the collection at the Chateau de Samois. The cane handle is wrapped in twine made from human hair reputedly obtained from the beard of W.G. Grace, while the body bears inscriptions in English, Antiguan Creole, and Marathi and comes from the wood of the Salix alba caerulea, a variant of the common white willow. Exceptionally springy and strong, the bat is eminently suitable for any sporting activity, as confirmed in the private diaries of Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, and Pauline R̩age. The white flannel crowd describes using it to produce significantly longer drives, while gamesters in dark leather report extremely satisfying results when applying it with proper finesse to the gluteal epidermis. Thoroughly knocked in. РJames Crossley

  272. Caw Miller says:

    Horripilation Comb – This turtle shell comb’s relationship with goosebumps is unknown. The Doctor speculated that the wearer of the comb became gifted with storytelling skills that sent chills down the spines of the listeners. The doctor’s thinning pate prevented him from testing the comb personally. An unconfirmed report claimed that Mary Shelly wore the comb while writing to keep her hair out of the inkwell. The last known owner of the comb, a neurotic spinster named Rebecca Cornbluth, died of a broken neck, her head turned to the back so far that she could see between her own shoulder blades. Her murder is still listed as unsolved by Scotland Yard. – Caw Miller

  273. Bradford Parker says:

    The Persian Songbird- Approx. 30 cm tall, this automaton of silver and gold over steel gears is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD. Associated texts refer to the design being based on an older model, and claim that it can walk, flap its wings, and sing twenty different musical compositions, based on various real birds. Currently non-functional, there is a 13 cm by 4 cm chamber underneath the thorax which is believed to have contained a motive mechanism or power source of some kind. Reputedly created by Jābir ibn Hayyān for Harun al-Rashid, it was believed lost during the Mongol siege of Baghdad in 1258 AD. When it surfaced again recently at an auction house in Vienna, Dr. Lambshead was able to pick it up at far below its true value.
    – Bradford Parker

  274. Christopher Begley says:

    Unhcegila’s Scales- Vacillating between sickly virescent and rotted plum hues these peculiar lamina are rumored to be found in the darkest corners of the North American Badland’s caverns. 30 were found in Lambshead’s cabinet with each being roughly the size of a fig leaf. He said that he won them in a poker game with a hand of aces and eights in the Berlin Hellfire Club on April 28th 1945. The graybeard he won them from claimed to be the bastard son of Jesse James and said that he stole them from Bill Hickock as a boy. Hickock had told the boy that Sitting Bull gave them to him when they toured together in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows. The scales are said to allow a man to make his enemies mysteriously disappear when ground up and put into their food or drink. Curiously, his ledger shows he sold some to gangsters with connections to both Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis.

  275. Kevin Schmidt says:

    THE SPECIFIC JOURNAL. A red leather-bound book, numbering one-hundred and sixteen pages. The cover bears the initials “A.J.” in tarnished gold filigree. The paper displays signs of water damage as well as fire damage on pages eighty-eight through ninety-five. The journal details the reader’s whereabouts and activities between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:36 p.m. August 7th, Nineteen Eighty-Nine. The details are always perfect in their accuracy, recounted in the native language of the reader, and written in clear and steady handwriting. In the event that the reader was not yet born on the date in question, the Journal seems to be filled with squiggles, doodles, and games of tic-tac-toe. – Kevin Schmidt

  276. Greg Lincoln says:

    Posted my micro stories without all caps in the beginning. I could post them again bit thought I would apologise and not repost all three. Sorry

  277. Greg Lincoln says:

    Posted my micro stories without all caps in the beginning. I could post them again bit thought I would apologise and not repost all three. Sorry

  278. Nadine says:

    TOMB-MATCHES. Half a dozen square-stick lucifers, secured in a waxed-paper wrapping. The attached card indicates, in slightly shaky, faded handwriting, that these matches, when struck, produce not light nor a means of igniting a cigarette, pipe, candle or lamp, but instead a bloom of impenetrable, sound-muffling darkness. This gloom lasts for as long as the match burns. If, the card notes, members of the match-striker’s party are missing when the light returns, it is only to be expected.

  279. Martin Rose says:

    FORGETTABLE, FLAWED, ORDINARY DIAMOND – Dr. Lambshead acquired this rare gem, whereupon he arranged to have the bright jewel fashioned into an engagement ring. Recovered from the basement of Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia, July 16, 1918, interwoven among many within a boy’s vest, worn by the hemophiliac boy prince, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, on the night of the Imperial family murders. Riddled with bullet holes, no blood stained the garment itself. Mrs. Lambshead said “Yes.” – Martin Rose

  280. Adam Israel says:

    AMELIA EARHART’S COMPASS – Discovered in the fishing nets by a group of Samoan workmen stationed on Kanton Island, in the South Pacific, in 1939, this brass aviator’s compass is inscribed with the initials A.M.E. — Amelia Marie Earhart.
    Cool to the touch, the needle of this navigation aid no longer points north, as if it has been exposed to intense magnetic energies. The needle seems to point with purpose and Lambshead set sail, hoping it would lead him famous aviatrix’s crash site.
    The expedition traveled the whole of the Phoenix Islands but for every atoll they dropped anchor at, the compass then directed them elsewhere. The search was eventually abandoned when they realized that the compass was leading them on a course roughly equivalent to a figure eight. – Adam Israel

  281. Julie Andrews says:

    MELLIFIED ALIEN, PARTIALLY EATEN. The enlarged head and oversized eyes of this diminutive, mummified humanoid creature would indicate that it’s of the Grey type of extraterrestrial. That it has been preserved in honey is clear. What is less clear is if it feasted upon, willingly or unwillingly, the golden stuff, before it died. For only if it had ingested honey in sufficient quantities over a number of days would the remains of it be truly mellified and impart their healing properties to whoever has been nibbling on it. The application of forensic dentistry may confirm the conjecture that this sweet confection once belonged to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle before coming into Dr. Lambshead’s possession. – Julie Andrews

  282. Erika Holt says:

    CRIMSON EYE BULB. Found perched on a tiny, brass tripod, this fragile orb is believed to be the last in existence. Invented by Aadal-Nangai Sonde, a reclusive scientist and avid knitter now hiding in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea, it was designed to cure acute depression by imposing a rosier view of the world. After unthinkable experiments involving forcible eyeball extraction, it became clear that, although subjects were initially happier, most suffered unfortunate side effects, including overheating with resultant pain and a charred meat smell; easy breakage leading to an unpredictable and hazardous migration of glass slivers through tissue and vessels; and a frightful appearance, causing further social isolation and, in some cases, persecution as an instrument of the Devil. Seventeen people are known to have died, whether from complications, murder, or suicide, and Sonde faces death by hanging should she return to her native India. — Erika Holt

  283. jeff vandermeer says:

    Due to irregularities in the space-time continuum we will continue to accept submissions up until 1am EST–about an hour and some change from now. Any after that will not be considered.

  284. John Nakamura Remy says:

    PETRIFIED SANDWICH. Since the discovery of Dr. Lambshead’s famed cabinet, few curios have generated as much controversy among the academic community as the mystery of one desiccated sandwich, found in a locked drawer on chipped blue china. As recently as the Second Biennial Meeting for the Scholarly Study of the Lambshead Collection, sharp words were exchanged between the tweed-clad representatives Morel-Liver Pâté and Deviled Ham schools on the precise nature of its fibrous contents.

    Debate continues, too, on the origins of the sandwich. Strong arguments point to King Edward VIII (pre-abdication), Mahatma Gandhi (perhaps a meal turned down by the vegetarian guru), and his maid Nelle (whose preparation may have been petrified to begin with). One graduate student in Surrey has proposed that the absent-minded Doctor simply misplaced the sandwich, but this has gained little credence among her peers.

  285. Tucker Cummings says:

    “OUR GREATEST PRESIDENT”, REEL 3. A single reel of film with a yellowing, typewritten label that reads “Our Greatest President – 1939 – Reel 3 of 5”. Notable for its size (38 mm instead of the standard 35 mm), the aging film is of interest for two other reasons. Firstly, the movie features performances by Sarah Bernhardt, Marilyn Monroe, and someone who bears a striking resemblance to Steve Gutenberg. Secondly, and most intriguingly, the plot of the movie seems to revolve around America’s seventh president: a man called Ronald Smith Washington. Purportedly the son of George Washington, the third reel tracks his last term in office and his struggle against the Japanese in the War of 1812. Despite the strange nature of the film’s content, preliminary lab results have indicated the reel itself is consistent with other prints from the late 1930s. The other 4 reels have yet to surface. -Tucker Cummings

  286. Anne Barringer says:

    POE’S CLOCKWORK RAVEN INKWELL – A superb taxidermic specimen acquired from the estate of Henri Le Rennet. Rumor suggests the raven is actually “Grip the Knowing,” loaned by Messier Charles Dickens to Edger Allan Poe (much to the chagrin of the Philadelphia library’s rare book department.) The Corvus Corax itself is mounted over an automata frame comprised of a system of cleverly constructed cogs and wheels attached to the left wing. By rotating the wing in a clockwise fashion the beak opens and one word caws “nevermore.” A drop of true sepia ink is dispensed to the ornate and whimsical Gutta-percha octopus inkstand upon which it rests. A notation states use of the ink allows discernment into the more Gothic nature of the human condition. Nonetheless, cosmologists and cryptographers purport it to be the key element to deducing awareness when consumed with a dram of cognac on October 7th. – Anne Barringer

  287. Chad Kroll says:

    BISECTED URN OF PROMETHEAN FENNEL AND ERISEAN APPLE SEEDS. A miniature clay urn divided into two sections containing seeds. One section contains seeds from the stalk of fennel in which Prometheus concealed fire. These are noted to glow with a golden-white light. The other contains seeds from the golden apple of Eris, which she used to cause strife. These have an inky nimbus with brilliant flashes of gold. Dr. Lambshead collected the item during his travels to Greece with the great adventurer and antiquarian Professor Hermes Spiros. Found among the relics in the tomb of a vrykolakas that the good doctor assisted Professor Spiros in extirpating. It is noted that the seeds have an exhaustive effect on individuals: altruism and avarice, respectively. When ensconced together, their energies appear to act as a neutralizing agent for one another. Beware, direct contact with either creates an instantaneous personality transformation! – Chad Kroll

  288. Jordan D says:

    STONES OF MICHAEL. Two pebble-sized ruby stones fixed to pieces of metal to function as earrings; are said to have been used by an assassin in the early twentieth century in France. Several party goers attending a ball at a mansion in Paris on December 7th 1908 claimed to have witnessed the rubies, hanging from the ears of an elderly woman, elongate and twist about the woman’s neck until she suffocated. The rubies are rumored to contain the shriveled testicles of Michael Desuae—castrated and executed in Spain for the murder of four women in the late nineteenth century. The stones were given to Dr. Lambshead as a gift in 1932, and are kept in a small black jewelry box with the words DO NOT OPEN inscribed on it.

  289. Therese Littleton says:

    CZERWATENKO WHELK IN OLIVE OIL. Preserved specimen of Turpis pallidus. Although this small whelk once dominated the littoral fauna of the Czerwatenko Sea, the species disappeared when that body of water was drained in 1917 to create the International Saltworks Project. When 65 salt-scrapers died, company scientists traced the cause: Upon dessicating, the delicate but odoriferous snails of the Czerwatenko had crumbled–shell and all–into a highly toxic powder and mixed with the salt, rendering it deadly. The saltworks was abandoned. In the 1920s, anthropologists discovered a group of indigenes who had once eaten the whelks as part of their staple diet. When they were asked why they hadn’t died from eating the toxic snails, they replied that any sort of oil or fat would neutralize the poison. This specimen was purchased from a centenarian woman who said she had never developed a taste for the snails. –Therese Littleton

  290. Tracy Rowan says:

    Da Vinci’s Bicycle — There is some doubt that the drawing of a bicycle found in da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus is authentic. However, the recent discovery of a working model of a very similar machine in Dr. Lambshead’s collection has added an unexpected dimension to the debate. While the sketch depicts a non-steerable cycle, the working model is fully steerable, a considerable improvement on the original.

    Predictably the discovery was met with a good deal of skepticism until it was discovered that the chain contained fragments of wool, thought to be torn from the hose of a rider and dating to the late 15th or early 16th century. Subsequent DNA testing has linked to fabric to the da Vinci family, and is now considered by some to explain the cryptic note in the Codex: “Another stocking ruined, must invent clip.” which has puzzled scholars for more than a century. — Tracy Rowan

  291. Jordan D says:

    STONES OF MICHAEL. Two pebble-sized ruby stones fixed to pieces of metal to function as earrings; are said to have been used by an assassin in the early twentieth century in France. Several party goers attending a ball at a mansion in Paris on December 7th 1908 claimed to have witnessed the rubies, hanging from the ears of an elderly woman, elongate and twist about the woman’s neck until she suffocated. The rubies are rumored to contain the shriveled testicles of Michael Desuae—castrated and executed in Spain for the murder of four women in the late nineteenth century. The stones were given to Dr. Lambshead as a gift in 1932, and are kept in a small black jewelry box with the words DO NOT OPEN inscribed on it. – Jordan Dyke

  292. Ieva Zalite says:

    LIGHT OF RIVER. It’s been used successfully in folk medicine, thaumaturgy and demiurgy for at least 13.7 billion years. The left sample is characterized by short flashes; their supposed origin is a golden ring of Sun’s daughter. The ring slipped off her finger during a handshake with God’s son – before he tried to marry her. The right sample, the smallest one, contains traces of ashes and burned incantations. This kind of specimens, especially common since 1480, has stronger potency; however, it may cause unexpected aftereffects. These two samples from an unknown Eastern European country were acquired by Dr. Lambshead in 1905 or 2012 (debatable data). WARNING: they will be used again. – Ieva Zālīte

  293. Jude-Marie Green says:

    THE MANDARIN’S BUTTERFLY – (note: v.dangerous) presented to Dr Lambshead by L Frank Baum. Sealed in a clear glass jar. Viewers report three separate life stages of insect depending on time of month: green caterpillar, tan chrysalis, fabulous butterly. Butterfly stage most dangerous: Large creature w/gorgeously-colored wings reminiscent of stained-glass windows feeds on magic-imbued honeycomb that mysteriously regenerates inside jar. Butterfly has a conscience and will defend children in danger. Manchu words etched into the glass are untranslated, probably a magic spell. Note to self: learn to speak butterfly. See also: ROSETTA STONE.

  294. jeff vandermeer says:

    THE END…submission period over. Ann and I will post the names of those entrants who will be included in the antho on Thursday. Thanks for all the great submissions!

  295. Sebastien Doubinsky says:

    And the Frenchman is always late… Just in case you still need one…

    TEZCATLIPOCA’S SMOKING MIRROR: Origin unknown, probably Aztec, found in a secret room in Hitler’s bunker by the Russian Red Army in 1945. A small obsidian mirror, extremely cold to the touch, probably used as a divination device. Although perfectly polished, it did not seem to reflect any image until one of the soldiers, who had been wounded during the assault on the German capital, let a few drops of his blood drip onto the black surface. Apparently, the soldier saw something so terrifying that he went insane on the spot. A reference to this event can be found in the memoirs of Colonel Tcherkov, a retired NKVD officer, who was present at the scene, but who dismissed the incident as a typical “war trauma” episode and used it as a proof of the negative effects of religious superstition. No one knows what happened to either the soldier or the mirror.

  296. Mike Einhorn says:

    how many will be selected?

  297. BIG NEWS! « 12 Novels in 365 Days says:

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