From one of the 18th-century's most splendid and greatest natural history achievements

Seba, A.

Giant lizard, snake, small lizard and bird [Plate 99 of Seba's Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio].

Published 1734
Item ID 72404

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Amsterdam, Jansson-Waesberg, J. Wetsteen and William Smith, 1734. Large folio (58.3 x 49.5 cm). Double-sized engraved plate.

A fine herpetological plate from one of the most splendid and largest natural history works from the mid-18th century, fully titled: Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio et iconibus artificiosissimus expressio per universam physices historiam. Opus, cui, in hoc rerum genere, nullum par exstisit. Ex toto terrarum orbe collegit, digessit, descripsit, et depingendum curavit Albertus Seba, Etzela Oostfrisius, Academiae Caesareae Leopoldino Carolinae Naturae Curiosorum collega xenocratus dictus; Societatis Regiae Anglicanae, et Instituti Bonensis, sodalis. Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, as it is generally known, is regarded as 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), who made a fortune working for the VOC (Dutch East India Company), had a passion that led him far beyond the call of duty. His collection of natural history objects was displayed in four very large volumes, which are now very rare. This plate shows a "Tejuguacu d'Amérique, très grand qu'on appelle aussi Sauvegarde, Amphebie & marbré par tout le corps", as well as a smaller lizard, snake and bird (see Landwehr, p. 521). Slight fraying and toning to the very outer margins; weak central, vertical fold; the left margin a bit uneven from previous binding; otherwise a very good, clean copy. Landwehr, 178; Nissen ZBI, 3793.

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