Issued in Michel Bernhard Valentini‘s very rare 'Museum Museorum published in 1704.
Hand coloured copper engraving.
19 x 13.9 cm
Valentini (1657–1729) was the personal physician to the Margrave of Hessia, a professor of experimental science and medicine at Giessen, and an avid collector of curiosities who had his own cabinet at Giessen. His Museum of Museums is one of the first works on museology and a highlight of baroque book design and illustration. It has three parts. The first part describes exotic naturalia such as mineral, metals, plants, and animals (including humans). The section on plants constitutes a herbal in itself, including tobacco, coffee, chocolate, and wine. The whole is adorned with plentiful finely engraved illustrations, some natural curiosities being illustrated here for the first time. The second part is a history and description of curiosity cabinets through the ages. It also gives a handy geographical list of contemporary cabinets, including those in America and Asia. The last part is devoted to botanical curiosities in the East Indies.