Cassiano dal Pozzo’s Paper Museum includes an astonishing number of images of small antiquities relative to contemporary books or to other collections of drawings. This peculiar feature reflects the extensive presence of such objects in private collections rather than an antiquarian tradition of studies, which didn’t yet exist in the 1620s. The drawings are of the greatest importance for our knowledge of 17th century collections. In fact small objects were rarely listed in inventories and, if mentioned, are now difficult to retrace in their present location. The essay aims to illustrate a case among the 17th century collections documented in the Paper Museum: the cabinet of curiosities of cardinal Flavio Chigi. Thanks to the original numbering of the sheets, it is possible to recognize a sequence of drawings made after the Cardinal’s objects and to compare them with the inventory of his collection. The Paper Museum drawings thus give the widest visual documentation of Flavio’s collection. Some of the objects can now be traced in their modern location, especially in the Museo Archeologico in Bologna.
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