Albertus Seba's Cabinet of 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 it was common for men of his profession to collect natural specimens for research purposes, Amsterdam-based pharmacist Seba (1665-1736) had a passion that led him far beyond the call of duty. His amazing, unprecedented collection of animals, plants, and insects from all around the world gained international fame.In 1731, after decades of collecting, Seba 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 hydra and a dragon.This superb, complete reproduction is taken from a rare hand-colored original. The introduction offers background information about the fascinating tradition of the cabinet of curiosities to which Seba belonged and an additional annex, written by contemporary biologists, provides descriptions of the marvelous and myriad specimens.
Irmgard M sch, born in 1967, studied art history, history and classical archaeology in Mainz and Berlin. Her Ph.D. 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 century, scientific illustrations and Kunstkammer pieces. Jes Rust, born 1963, completed his studies in geology, palaeontology and zoology at G ttingen 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 G ttingen between 1993 and 1999 was followed by his appointment in 2001 as professor of invertebrate palaeontology and insect phylogeny at the University of Bonn. Rainer Willmann holds a chair in zoology at G ttingen University, is director of its Zoological Museum, and is co-founder of its Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology Research. A specialist in phylogenetics and evolution, he conducts research into biodiversity and its history.