SEBA, Albertus. Snake. Amsterdam: Janssonio-Waesbergios, & J. Wetstenium, & Gul. Smith. .
53 x 40 cm in gilt frame (77 x 65 cm), hand-coloured copper engraving, double page plate; very good.
Plate XCII from Seba's Locupletissimi Rerum Natualium Thesauri Accurata Descriptio, et iconibus artificiosissimis expressio, per universam physices historiam, the great "Cabinet of Curiosities" compiled by the author from his own collection and at his own expense.
Albertus Seba, apothecary and collector of natural specimens, was born in 1665 in the East Frisian town of Etzel, and died in 1736 in Amsterdam. For most of his life he lived in Amsterdam, where over several decades he amassed a collection containing hundreds of plants, animals, insects, shells and indigenous artefacts.
The Thesauri, his life’s work and catalogue of his entire collection is described by Irmgard Müsch, in an introduction to a facsimile copy, as “one of the 18th century’s greatest natural history achievements”. His apothecary was visited by such prestigious visitors as the Russian Tsar Peter the Great and Carl Linnaeus, one of the most famous zoologists of the 18th century and founders of modern ecology, who utilised Seba’s engravings for his own research.