The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is one of the 18th centurys greatest natural history achievements and remains one of the most prized natural history books of all time. Though scientists of his era often collected natural specimens for research purposes, Amsterdam-based pharmacist Albertus Seba (16651736) was unrivalled in his passion. His amazing 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 careful and often scenic illustrations of every specimen. With these meticulous drawings, he arranged for the publication of a four-volume catalog, covering the entire collection from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, birds, and butterflies, as well as now extinct creatures. This reproduction is taken from a rare, hand-colored original. The introduction supplies background information about the fascinating tradition of natural collections to which Sebas curiosities belonged. About the series TASCHEN is 40! Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible publishing, helping bookworms around the world curate their own library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia at an unbeatable price. Today we celebrate 40 years of incredible books by staying true to our company credo. The 40 series presents new editions of some of the stars of our programnow more compact, friendly in price, and still realized with the same commitment to impeccable production.