Hullo my lovelies! I recently purchased this necklace, made by the lovely and talented local artist. I'd often come across the meticulous illustrations of Albertus Seba, but never before knew anything about the man behind the vast collection.
He also gathered beautiful and rare conch, the finest and most complete butterflies from the 4 corners of the Earth.
Seba commissioned artists to make meticulous drawings of these diverse objects from his collection.
He went on to publish these drawings, supplemented by commentary, in a four-volumed set entitled Loccupletissimi Rerum Thesauri Accurata Descriptio (abbreviated in the following as Thesaurus).
The large and magnificent work, incorporating an impressive total of 446 copperplates, was published between 1734 and 1765, after his death.
This pictorial record of Seba's unique collection is now available in reprint. For a better appreciation of this major publishing enterprise, it is necessary to take a closer look at the life and historical context of the man behind it.
By becoming an apothecary, Albertus Seba, who was born in 1665 in the East Frisian town of Etzel, chose a profession with close ties to natural history.
Doctors and apothecaries were pioneers of the empirical sciences, which had been growing significantly in importance since the Renaissance. Unlike today, medications were not synthetically made but mixed together from natural constituents.
With his "Die Deutsche Apotheke" (German Apothecary's Shop), as he called his business, Seba rapidly earned an excellent reputation for himself. Even the Russian tsar Peter the Great trusted his pharmaceutical expertise, purchasing medicines from him for many years.