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Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,820 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Taschen - Bibliotheca Universalis
Trilingual edition: English, French, and German.
Introduction by Irmgard Müsch, species scientific identification by Rainer Willmann, Jes Rust and Volker Wissemann.

Spectacular specimens: Albertus Seba's unrivaled catalog of animals, insects and plants.

The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is one of the 18th centurys greatest natural history
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published June 24th 2015 by Taschen (first published January 1st 2001)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  1,820 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Another incredible book by Taschen. Albetus Seba meticulously drew thousands of animals, plant and sea life, much of which would have been exotic to Europeans. This book has hardly any discussion. It is thick with countless illustrations.
Graychin (D. Dalrymple)
So many of the pathologies of contemporary life come in through the eyes. Its only a matter of time before the vile sickness of screen-gaze gets a more scientific-sounding name. This gorgeous, almost wordless book is the cure. ...more
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A year ago I picked up a copy of The Codex Seraphinianus, and I can conclusively say that it's the most treasured book I own, possibly the most significant OBJECT that I own. This review isn't about that book, so I won't discuss it further, apart from mentioning that that book changed my life.

I have since been searching for something similar and I stumbled across this item. It's not similar, in fact it's nothing like The Codex. But it's a wonderful book. I have the gigantic heavy hardcover
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taschen has always published heavy, lush art books, but they've outdone themselves with Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (weighing in at thirteen pounds). Albertus Seba, a pharmacist in eighteenth-century Amsterdam, collected beautiful and strange animals, plants, and insects. After years of collecting, he commissioned illustrators for each specimen. This book is a reproduction of the eighteenth-century four-volume set. These amazing illustrations are works of art, but beware small children might ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those rare completely awesome and completely random finds at a really cool bookstore (Lucky Comics). This is reproduction of Albertus Seba's specimen drawings. It weighs about 15 pounds and is written in French, English and German, just in case I'm feeling particularly trilingual on any given day. There's no words for how kick ass the illustrations are. This will sit loud and proud on my coffee table for infinite perusing.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok no real reading involved. But this is my favorite coffee table book. Bought for me by my husband for a screaming deal at a San Diego library book sale. One could spend hours pouring over the colour plates of all creatures on earth. If you find a copy, don't hesitate to open it.
Nuno R.
A great edition, in big format, to be enjoyed as the great recreation that it is. I'm really happy to have this in my shelves, and it made its own little altar in my small library, since the size of the book forced me to have it face up.
R.A. Danger
Based on the copy in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague. With a precious red coral on the front. With three languages.

In the beginning and the end has information and history of the book. In the middle it has animals to leaves, seeds, plants, rocks, coral, shells, and fossils. Each page either has 1 -4 collections per page, sometimes one collection goes on two page spread. Sometimes I had a hard time finding the numbers on the 4 collection per page. Even though it's mostly Seba's collection
This series was totally action packed.
Brianna Sowinski
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cool coffee table type book for anyone interested in 18th century botanical drawings.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful collection of plates, coupled with an informative essay. A beautiful testament to museum, and natural, history.
Donna Busch
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely amazing book. I have actually bought the xxl version for my personal real book library. I have an extensive digital library that is fiction and other assorted mind candy. My shelves are nonfiction. This is a treasure for along time to come. My version has theses great posters that fold out like map books, and they are stunning. The information is brilliant for the time they were produced. It shows the place where alchemy , science and art split into there own classes. The cabinet in ...more
David Lynn
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with eyeballs
Creative, Inventive, amazing Albertus Seba will have you thinking that every Dutch person coming out of the 18th century was brillian...
Hands down one of the most amazing things I have in my library, life.
Its spendy but if you have a library near you that has this or are fortunate enough to live near the strand i can say how quickly you should go and take a look at this.

i could go on and on but if you want to read what Taschen (one of the better companies out there who produced this book and did
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
This book is nothing less than something at which one marvels. I happened across it in the oversized section of my library and every thing about it is huge: it's vision, it's scope, and it's actual size (which weighs in at 11.9 pounds).

Here's the product description off of Amazon:
Albertus Seba's curious creatures: a most unusual collection of natural specimens Albertus Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is one of the 18th century's greatest natural history achievements and remains one of the
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I work at Barnes & Noble, and was walking through the bargain section when I saw this book. I'm astonished that so many people have paid close to $200 for this! I paid around twenty, with my discount. It was only $25.00 originally. I think it may be a slightly different version, meant for B&N only, but the content is exactly the same. The only thing I've noticed to be different is the picture on the cover. There are two coral as opposed to one.

Anyway, I was drawn to it because the
Samuel Goff
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, science, 2018, non-fiction
Beautiful Taschen edition of Albertus Seba's book of cataloguing the plants and animals of the world. Collected between 1734 and 1765 many of these plates stand as works of art. Seba apparently took some liberties and created some drawings of animals that may not have existed which was probably what intrigued me in the first place. A lot of these are beautiful and a lot of them very weird. Recommended for folks who like their art a little off the beaten path.
Sarah Gitchell
This is a great addition for a collector of hefty coffee table books or anybody fascinated by the Victorians' scientific proclivity to categorize, rank and classify just about everything in the natural world. The book boasts excellent illustrations, not to mention a stature large and heavy enough for braining home intruders. You can't lose.
melissa seley
dying to own a copy of this coffeetable beauty, than an a bunch of audobon society guides - to birds, trees, shells, mammals, sea creatures on and on till there are none left. been putting them on xmas lists since i was six. somehow, no one else gets how great it would be to unwrap one. sigh. Publishing
First you've got to ask yourself: do I like oversized books? Whether you put them on a coffee table or on a customized shelf for enormous tomes, if you like big grimoires, then this is an essential, as far as I'm concerned. Makes a nice prop for a wizard's spellbook, in a pinch, too. -MK
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok so I don't actually own this monsterous marvel....yet! (hint, hint) ...However I think I've pretty much looked at every page while passing through various shops and bookstores since I discovered it. So beautiful and inspiring, it should be free!
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
not so much "read" as "ooohed and ahhhhed and petted the pages"
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
gorgeous and inspiring.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely gorgeous. Stirs the imagination.
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best gifts I've ever received; Each page of this book is exquisite. The perfect accompaniment to a lazy weekend day.
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of the most amazing natural history illustrations in this book.
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the bible I needed.
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absurd.

Photo Jenny
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beeyooteeful! My tattoo is from this book.
Mar 27, 2009 marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning, snoot
Found a slightly coffee-stained copy for $18!
L a n c e
Jul 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
the only coffee table book you want.
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Albertus Seba (May 12, 1665, Etzel near Friedeburg - May 2, 1736, Amsterdam) was a Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector.

Born in East-Frisia, Seba moved to Amsterdam as an apprentice and opened around 1700 a pharmacy near the harbour. Seba asked sailors and ship surgeons to bring exotic plants and animal products he could use for preparing drugs. Seba also started to collect snakes, birds,

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