"Everything was familiar, but he couldn't be sure he'd seen any particular stretch before. A curving hallway lined with wooden showcases displayed collections he was certain he'd never seen: the skulls of large birds, coins, mask of beaten silver."
Cabinets of Curiosities appeared in the 16th century - cabinets within cabinet like rooms filled with preserved animals, skeletons, clockwork automata, dried plants seeds and books. These museums provided a retreat for contemplation as well as an opportunity for the wealthy to display their acquisitions and power.
boxesinboxes - Credit: atrilogy
The Tessier-Asphools collection of stuff creates a barricade to block outsider access to Straylight.