TAB.LXVI

Albertus Seba

SEFI.TAB66

Seba's collection of scenic illustrations was one of the 18th century's greatest natural history achievements. Though scientists of his era often collected natural specimens for research purposes, the Amsterdam-based pharmacist's (1665-1736) collection of animals, plants and insects gained international fame during his lifetime. After decades of collecting, Seba commissioned illustrations of every specimen and arranged the publication of a four-volume catalogue from strange plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, birds, and butterflies, as well as fantastic beasts, such as a hydra and a dragon. Here is a pick of images from the collection

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Amsterdam, 1734
Hand-colored Engraving
Plate Size: 17 x 11 inches
Condition: A+

  • Price: $1,395.00 { What determines value? }

    Many factors go into pricing a print; rarity, desirability, artist, condition, age, and the history of former sales prices.


    “Weeds & Roses” A good analogy for how the pricing of a print is determined from desirability is my description of "Weeds and Roses". It actually works with a number of publications from Audubons to Atlases. 

    O.K., let's take a complete first edition set of Audubon's Birds of America- 435 Plates, printed by Robert Havell. The Wild Turkey & The Flamingo will be the “Roses”, they are the major plates. These images are usually more desirable making them the most expensive, in upwards of $200,000.

    The Song Birds or "Tweety" birds are the minor plates, or "Weeds". These images are usually less desirable making them less expensive, as low as $2,000.

    However, not everyone prefers roses over weeds. Just because one is more expensive does not mean it is more beautiful to you. Art is a personal preference and you should always go with what stands out to you :)