This is a combination of art, science and history. The European natural history collections of the 18th and 19th centuries contain bizarre objects, assembled by even stranger people. They include Peter the Great, whose "cabinet" in Petersburg is home to a nightmare collection of animals, embalmed appendages and chimeras. We see Louis Agassiz's fishes in disconcerting close-up, and the mannered baroque collection of Augustino Scilla - Europe's "first geologist". Words and pictures capture the collection of Philip von Siebold, assembled with great difficulty in the closed society of early 19th-century Japan, and of the demented dinosaur hunter Thomas Hawkins, contrasted with Mary of Lyme Regis, "the most important unsung collecting force" in the history of science. And the fossil brain collection of Eugeen Dubois (discoverer of "Homo Erectus") is surreal indeed.
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Book Description Random House UK, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091753287