Curio Cabinet with animal skulls
During this holiday season there have been numerous accounts of Steampunk items for those "steamy" Christmas lists, with items that are - well, just nice. Personally, I have always felt that if one has a place in their abode for their Steampunk items (or perhaps the entire domicile, if they are lucky), then there should be a piece or two that makes the average person say, "What in tarnation is that!?"
Bronze Lobster with an Abalone Tail
Often times, imo, those types of items might be along the lines of preserved scientific displays, of whatever sort catches a person's eye. A starting point for said items could easily be the "The Evolution Store", located in beautiful (and currently snowy) New York City.
Fish skeleton on a very nice display
This store specialized in preserved items, or as their introduction states…"Evolution sells unique natural history collectibles, usually only seen in museums. These include butterflies and beetles, fossils, seashells, skulls and skeletons, medical models, and tribal art." And they have quite the collection to indulge in!
Replica human skull with a calvarian cut and optional removable brain
A visit to the site shows only a small portion of the items in their collection… even so, it is extremely impressive! From anatomical niceties (e.g. replicas of skulls and brains for educational and decorative uses) to fossils from ferocious dinosaurs, from mounted butterfly displays to preserved sharks in a jar, there is something for everyone. If you might be having difficulties choosing, they provide an easy holiday gift guide, to assist in locating the perfect item!
A friendly little Piranha
With a choice selection, the fortunate owner can not only explain what the item is, but also a little of the background about it (perhaps even in a stuffy academician voice… "Ah, yes, this little fellow is a "Geryi-Geryi" piranha from the upper Amazon waterways - it can easily sever a man's finger with a single bite! So be careful - buah, haha!"
Men's skull ring made, with a top of Walrus Ivory
With a cacophony of unique, strange, (and sometimes disturbing items - so do be cautions in the taxidermy section, depending on your constitution, please), the Evolution Store is an excellent locale for that "unique item" for Christmas. I would easily argue that the Evolution Store has a wide selection of not only era items (Steampunk/Victorian), but they are the type that will have your modern compatriot doing the proverbial double take. To visit their website, please go to: http://theevolutionstore.com/
Mounted Raccoon Penis Bones (I did a double take on this one!)