By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
Cabinet of Curiosities might be more a celebration of one man’s passion for the hunt of collecting, than it is an antique shop.
Dundasian Mark Draak opened the store at 30 Hatt St by accident last fall – the product of moving his large and growing collections of unique items out of his house and into a bigger space, his office – downstairs at Wide Eyed Communications.
“It’s 30 years of collecting,” Draak said of how he amassed the wide-ranging collection of antique photos, bottles, books – and dozens of other items that have to be seen to be believed.
Historic street view photos of Dundas, rare photographs produced by Dundas’ first photographers, the original water cooler from the Collins Hotel, and a film winder from the former Majestic Theatre – now the Horn of Plenty in downtown Dundas – are just a small sample of the treasures.
“It’s all about the hunt for me,” Draak said.
He tracked down many rare items related directly to Valley Town or Hamilton history outside of Canada.
“It’s amazing how much I repatriate,” he said.
Draak considers Cabinet of Curiosities more a museum than a shop, and himself more of a collector than an antique dealer. Some items are more for display with a story to be shared rather than to be sold.
Items that are sold are usually the result of haggling.
Draak and curator-copywriter Erin Montemurro enjoy sharing information and stories they’ve learned about their one-of-a-kind items.
“I get so pumped up talking about this stuff,” Draak said. “ I get the joy of rediscovering it over and over again.”
They’ve moved from opening only on weekends, to seven days a week.
More information on Cabinet of Curiosities can be found at www.cabinetofcuriosities.ca