Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (The Colored Plates 1734-1765)

Albertus Seba
From the dust jacket: Albertus Seba's ''Cabinet of Natural Curiosities'' is one of the 18th century's greates natural-history achievements and remains one of the most prized natural-history books of all time. Though it was common for me of his profession to collect natural specimens for research purposes, Amsterdam-based pharmacist Albertus Seba (1665-1736) had a passion that led hmi far beyond the call of duty. His amazing, unprecedented collection of animals, plants and insects from all around the world gained international fame during his lifetime. In 1731, after decades of collecting, he commissioned illustrations of each and every specimen and arranged the publication of a four-volume catalogue detailing his entire collection - from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, insects, butterflies and more, as well as fantastic beasts such as a seven-headed hydra. The beautiful illustrations transport these creatures from the scientific world of specimens into extremely aesthetic and vivid scenes, where plants and animals intermingle. It is this narrative element that continues to lend the book much of its special fascination. This magnificent reporduction of all 449 of the original plates is taken from a rare, hand-coloured copy at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague. The introduction provides background information on the intriguing tradition of the cabinet of curiosities to which Seba's collection belonged, while an additional annex written by contemporary scientists provides descriptions of the specimens. A journey into the past and at the same time a road to rediscovering the wonders of Nature, which remain as vital as ever. OVERSIZED BOOK approx. 9''x15''x2'', weight 6.5 lbs., English, Latin.


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