Albertus Seba: cabinet of natural curiosities.

Albertus Seba: cabinet of natural curiosities. Irmgard Musch, Jes Rust, Rainer Willmann.
Albertus Seba: cabinet of natural curiosities.

Koln: Taschen, 2015. Small quarto, colour illustrations, fine copy in dustwrapper.

This spectacular little book presents Albertus Seba's unrivaled catalogue of animals, insects and plants. Albertus Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is one of the 18th century's greatest natural history achievements and remains one of the most prized natural history books of all time. Though scientists of his era often collected natural specimens, Amsterdam-based pharmacist Seba (1665-1736) was unrivaled in his passion. His amazing collection of animals, plants and insects from all around the world gained international fame during his lifetime. In 1731, after decades of collecting, Seba commissioned careful and often scenic illustrations of every specimen. With these meticulous drawings he arranged the publication of a four-volume catalogue covering the entire collection from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, birds and butterflies, including now extinct creatures. This reproduction is taken from a rare, hand-coloured original housed at the National Library of the Netherlands. The introduction supplies background information about the fascinating tradition of natural collections to which Seba's curiosities belonged.

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