Cabinet of Natural Curiosities by Albertus Seba

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Have you heard of the book Cabinet of Natural Curiosities?

book Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is a large, heavy book filled with amazing illustrations of animals, plants and insect by Amsterdam-based pharmacist Albertus Seba (1665-1736). The book includes lots of corals, shells, and many other ocean creatures.

This is what it says on the Publishers Website, "Albertus Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is one of the 18th century's greatest natural history achievements and remains one of the most prized natural history books of all time." Collection via Maison.

Tobi Fairley
Designer Patricia Gray wrote on her blog, "This book may go down in the Guinness World Book of Records as the most photographed book." Here used by Tobi Fairley to accentuate her design. Without a doubt Natural Curiosities makes a fantastic coffee table book.

Natural Curiosities
But some people tear out the pages.

Starfish Prints
And frame them for wall art.

Like Leisa Tobler of Idea Mom who won the 2008 Idea House in Windmark in Florida from My Home Ideas. Since the artwork, reproductions of drawings from Albertus Seba, did not convey with the home, and the price per piece would have been around $2000, Leisa purchased a used copy of the book for $20, then removed the pages from the binding and framed them.

Natural Curiosities
This was the room before. Leisa's beautiful home is now a vacation rental and you can learn all about it at Summer Dream.

bathroom by Steven Gambrel
Then others, like designer Steven Gambrel featured here, paste the pages of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on the wall. Here you see the powder room in his cottage in Sag Harbor, NY. It's busy, but I love it! As I mentioned here, a small bathroom or powder room is a great space to experiment and go wild!

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Lia said...

That really is a lovely way to decorate. It's a very clever way of getting some great art work on the walls. Thanks for that.
Much love

Shellbelle said...

Between Sanibel and this post, I would definitely say we're on the same wavelength! I was recently at Vintage Printable and downloaded a great selection of her offerings. I'm redoing two frames I recently purchased at a flea market ($5 for both) and I printed out my favorites. I have to find more frames, because I can't decide which two I love the most!

Corrie said...

Hello, it is quite a surprise to find a picture of my Seba-book standing in front of my own bookcase on this blog. I would gladly have given permission to use my picture, when you had asked me. Nevertheless I think this is a very nice weblog and I will return sometimes to read about the beautiful shells and other sea-treasures.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

I love and have the seba book. A while ago I did take out one of the pages and frame it. Just didn't have the impact I wanted!

I think gambrel's bathroom is a wouldn't want to live in it, but love looking at it kind of way!

Juju at Tales of said...

These are just grand!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

It would be hard to tear pages out of a book...but, worth it!


Low Tide High Style said...

I'll be on the lookout for a used copy of this book! It would be a great coffee table book and I might just have to rip out a few pages of my own to hang in our bedroom!

I can't get Vintage Printables to work for some reason, it won't print the image I select! :(

I hope you had a great weekend Maya!

Kat :)

by Leisa Tobler said...

Thank you for sharing my idea for DIY Artwork on a budget. It looks lovely here. I do still update IdeaMom, however, my posts are not as frequent as before. Since you have posted my idea, I would be so grateful if you would mention the Summer Dream website:
where your visitors might see more photos of the WindMark Idea House -- now a vacation rental. There they may find information about the gorgeous NorthWest Florida "Forgotten Coast" and even RENT the home for a week if they like!!
Thanks again for sharing a favorite Idea from my blog. I've enjoyed perusing your beautiful website.

by Leisa Tobler said...

By the way ... for those asking about the book, I found it online with a used bookseller at for less than $20. It does take a lot of care to rip the pages. I used an exacto knife to gently pull the book away at its binding.
Of course, this idea may be used with a variety of art books. Many years ago I used the same idea in my child's room with illustrations from a favorite children's book. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Thanks Leisa! I added the information.

by Leisa Tobler said...

Thank you Maya ... I'd love to link your site at IdeaMom. Such beautiful ideas!!

The Zhush said...

Hi. First time here. I actually own that book, and knew that people rip pages to frame (although I can't bring myself to do that...) But never realized it was the wallpaper in that S.Gambrel bathroom! Crazy good.

Kendall at Finesse Your Nest said...

I LOVE all the prints at Vintage Printable! I did not know about that website and just went to look. Thanks Maya for sharing!

Jenny said...

Great idea with the book pages. I will have to look for on on amazon.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

GORGEOUS! I want that booK!

Fearless Nester said...

I just love vintage printable...thanks for a reminder about it! ~Lili

The DIY Show Off said...

I must have that book! Thanks Maya! I'm not sure I could tear out pages but it looks like a great one to own!

Thanks for the shout out too! Vintage Printables was an awesome DIY source. I couldn't be happier with my inexpensive wall gallery! ;)

Have a great week!


Lia said...

Maya, did you know that book is for sell on Amazon for £154 or on e-bay for £172.
That's a mighty price for a book lol
just thought I would tell you.
Much love

Diane said...

I just bought this book at a local book sale today brand new for 1 dollar. I am so excited it's a wonderful book.

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