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Boeseman, M.

AuthorM. Boeseman
TitleThe vicissitudes and disperal of Albertus Seba's zoological specimens
JournalZoologische Mededelingen
While recently some authors (Engel, 1937, 1939, 1961; Holthuis, 1969) rather extensively described Seba's life, personality, and cabinet of natural history objects, or discussed his "Thesaurus" (Seba, 1734-1765), indications on the vicissitudes and the present whereabouts of his specimens are only haphazardly given (Engel, 1961) or are scattered throughout zoological literature, difficult to find, incomplete, and often erroneous. Therefore, here an attempt is made to trace Seba's specimens through history, and to indicate where those examples still extant should be looked for at the present time.
As Seba's cabinet was auctioned at a time when "Holland" was exceedingly rich in such collections, almost each of them at the death of its owner again being auctioned and dispersed, it goes without saying that of the extensive Seba collections only a small part may be traced, while even on these there usually will remain some shadow of doubt. On the other hand, as some of Seba's specimens do have the status of type, the present effort (though still far from exhaustive) seems well justified.

A discussion of this auction, based on the 1752 auction catalogue (pi. 1) now in the Amsterdam University library, has been expertly presented by Engel (1961). Nevertheless, it seems of interest to provide here some more information on some of the buyers, on the number of specimens they bought, and whatever became of their collections, as far as these data still could be found. To restrict the scope of the present paper, only the zoological objects are taken into account. Though the Seba auction catalogue lists the specimens in several chapters, the contents of all are more or less heterogeneous and
Document typearticle
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