Nothing is more beautiful than to know all.
Wood carver Levi Fisher Ames (1840-1923) was originally a carpenter when he began working on his menagerie of small wooden animal figures, some of which were based on real animals, some were purely imaginary. Ames created a very personal cabinet of curiosities: several hundred fabulous creatures housed in glassfronted shadowboxes, completed with hand written labels.
His reperoire of animal figures was inspired by the illustrations of the famous Albertus Seba and due to his studies Ames became quite an amateur scientist, who later travelled with his show, the "Grand Museum of Art and Natural History", to local country fairs.
Calling himself the "Greates Jack-knife Artist", "Ames would carve on site while telling visitors stories about his menagerie, pointing out details in the displays with a small baton." He never sold a piece "because he wanted to keep the menagerie intact ". source