You can flip through the catalog for the Portland Museum sale here.(The installation) is a celebration of the enduring and productive friendship between Mrs. Delany and Margaret Cavendish, second Duchess of Portland. Wildgoose's extravagant cabinet of curiosities evokes the "Promiscuous Assemblage" described in the catalogue that accompanied the sale of the Duchess's "Portland Museum" compiled by the botanist John Lightfoot and published in 1786. This magnificent collection of natural history specimens, fine and decorative arts, as well as curiosities, with which Mary Delany was familiar, was sold in the year following the Duchess's death at a 38-day auction comprising over four thousand lots.
Margaret Cavendish is completely fascinating - she had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and for collecting. From Wikipedia:
Her home in Buckinghamshire, Bulstrode Hall, provided space to house the results, and her independent fortune meant that cost was no object (on her mother’s death in 1755 she also inherited the estates of Welbeck in Nottinghamshire). Bulstrode was known in court circles as "The Hive" for the intense work done there on the collections by the Duchess and her crack team of botanists, entomologists and ornithologists, headed by herself, Daniel Solander (1736-82, specialising in shells and insects) and The Revd John Lightfoot (1735-88, her librarian and chaplain) - her collection was, unlike many similar contemporary ones, well-curated.
'The Portland Museum' at Bulstrode, also including a zoo, an aviary and a vast botanic garden, was open to visitors. Many came, scholars, philosophers, scientists and even Royalty, and the collection became a cause celebre. Her fellow collector Horace Walpole commented on it:Photo from here.
- Few men have rivalled Margaret Cavendish in the mania of collecting, and perhaps no woman. In an age of great collectors she rivalled the greatest.”