SEBA, Albertus. Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri accurata descriptio...[Description exacte des principales curiositez naturelles du magnifique cabinet...]. Amsterdam: J. Wetsten, G. Smith, J. Waesberg, &c, 1734-1765.
4 volumes, 2° (490 x 340mm.), titles and text in Latin and French, Latin titles printed in red and black with hand-coloured vignettes (volumes I-III), fine engraved frontispiece by P. Tanjé after L.F. Dubourg, portrait of Seba by J. Houbraken after J.M. Quinkard, head-pieces by Tanjé and 449 etched plates, including 175 double-page, all coloured by hand. Contemporary Dutch half calf and flower-patterned board (rubbed and worn). Provenance: The Horticultural Society of New York, bequest of Kenneth K. Mackenzie (bookplate).
A sumptuous record of one of the greatest eighteenth century 'cabinet of curiosities' and the second to be formed by the German-born apothecary Seba (1665-1736) who became rich in the service of the Dutch East India Company. Seba himself and many others contributed to the text and approximately 10 artists executed the drawings for the plates which show specimens of birds, mammals, insects, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, spiders, millepedes, fish, molluscs, crustacea, minerals and fossils, often in fascinating if not bizarre groupings. Even monsters, including a seven-headed hydra, are shown. The shell plates numbering about sixty, with some six thousand examples shown, are amongst the most impressive, not least for the artistic patterns in which they are arranged. Nissen ZBI 3793; BBI 1835; Anker 454; Landwehr 178; Fine Bird Books 106***. (4)