Detail of a printed text shows a large, leafy tree. Labels printed below.
Detail of a printed text shows a shark's head, with particular focus on the teeth. Four other items labeled "glossopetra" with other German text below.
Printed text shows sketches of unicorns, one of the skeleton. A narwal is also shown. Labels in German are shown.
Printed text shows sketches of two large birds. A large egg and labels are also shown.

Museum Museorum

Michael Bernhard Valentini

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.





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