Top positive review
146 people found this helpful
truly wonderful book
on December 26, 2001
I saw this huge beautiful book at a store today and nearly bought it on a whim -
even with the $150 price tag. Then I thought I'd check on Amazon
and maybe get it at a discount - no such luck.
They said they don't discount such hard-to-find titles. Well, it's certainly not hard to
find, as it is published by Taschen, and any decent bookstore has plenty of Taschen
books. It is however huge, and expensive, so there's the trouble. Here is some info on the
book directly from the publishers:
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
Albertus 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 during his lifetime. In 1731, after decades of collecting, Seba
commissioned illustrations of each and every specimen and
arranged the publication of a four-volume catalog 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.
Seba's scenic illustrations, often mixing plants and animals in a
single plate, were unusual even for the time. Many of the stranger
and more peculiar creatures from Seba's collection, some of which
are now extinct, were as curious to those in Seba's day as they
are to us now.
Our 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's curiosities belonged and an additional
annex, written by contemporary biologists, provides descriptions of
I'll most likely save my dollars until I can buy this without feeling too guilty: By the way - it's 646 pages and about 18 inches high.