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Natural History Specimens "TAB. CXI" from Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri (Riches of the Natural World)

1734 to 1765
Origin: Europe, Netherlands, Amsterdam
OH: 20 3/4" OW: 26 1/2" Plate H: 17 1/4" Plate W: 21 3/4"
Hand-colored line engraving
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1991-20
Natural history print; hand-colored line engraving of natural history specimens. This plate illustrates two jars containing fetus, an elephant, and three other animal specimans, one partially dissected. These specimens were a part of Seba's famous collection of curiosities.
Label:The collection of curiosities amassed during the first quarter of the 18th century by Albertus Seba, a German-born apothecary practicing in Amsterdam, was the source of many of the 451 illustrations in this four-volume work. The large folio-size plates are magnificent, but they frequently lack zoological accuracy.

Research on animals was carried beyond studying their physical appearance and habitats. Some medical pioneers during the 18th century believed that physiological studies on animals would lead to a fuller understanding of vital processes and functions in humans. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society contain accounts of exploratory dissections of animals and autopsies of humans.