The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities of Albertus Seba (1665–1736) 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 Seba’s era often collected natural specimens for research purposes, the Amsterdam-based pharmacist 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 illustrations of every specimen and arranged the publication of a four-volume catalogue. The nature Wunderkammer featured everything from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, birds, and butterflies, as well as fantastic beasts, such as a hydra and a dragon. Many illustrations mixed plants and animals into a single scenic plate.
This reproduction is taken from a rare hand-colored original and features an introduction to the natural history and collecting traditions in which Seba played such an important role.
Irmgard Müsch, born in 1967, studied art history, history, and classical archaeology in Mainz and Berlin. Her PhD thesis from 1999 examines Johann Jakob Scheuchzer’s Kupfer-Bibel, a richly illustrated scientific commentary on the Bible from the early 18th century. She has published on art of the 18th and 20th centuries, scientific illustrations, and Kunstkammer pieces.
Jes Rust, born 1963, completed his studies in geology, paleontology, and zoology at Göttingen and Kiel. His thesis dealt with the evolution of fossil snails living in the fresh and brackish waters of prehistoric Greece. His assistantship at the Institute of Zoology in Göttingen between 1993 and 1999 was followed by his appointment in 2001 as professor of invertebrate paleontology and insect phylogeny at the University of Bonn.
Rainer Willmannholds a chair in zoology at Göttingen University, is director of its Zoological Museum, and is cofounder of its Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology Research. A specialist in phylogenetics and evolution, he conducts research into biodiversity and its history.
ISBN 978-3-8365-1583-2 Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
"TASCHEN brings us yet another luscious and affordable coffee table book, Albertus Seba: Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Eye-popping displays of birds, butterflies, snakes, seashells, sea urchins, exotic plants, crocodiles, crustaceans and more, ignite the imagination and leave us in awe of the diversity of the natural world as well as the engravers' skill in producing these beautifully detailed plates."
— The Huffington Post, New York
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