The Cabinet had a tour of the Linnean Society in London on the 24th February 2014. We went into the vault where Linnaeus’s collections of books, manuscripts, plants, insects, shells, fish and other things are kept in climate-controlled conditions, and got a chance to see some of his specimens, his dissertation the Systema Naturae, and his journal. Then we went up to the wonderful library, where some of the Society’s most precious books were laid out for us to look through.
Some of Linnaeus’s beautifully bound books
In the vault
Unsorted shell specimens from Linnaeus’s collection
Morpho butterfly specimens
Lepidoptera specimens, including comma butterflies and small tortoiseshells.
Systema Naturae, Linnaeus’s dissertation.
Looking at the Systema Naturae
Systema Naturae title page
Stuart and Nick with Lynda in the vault
Botanical specimens in the vault
Linnaea borealis specimen, Linnaeus’s botanical namesake
Linnaea borealis specimen from the herbarium
A dried fish specimen, kept just like a plant.
The preparation of the fish specimens was fascinating
An imaginative allegory from Linnaeus’s journal- one of the ‘Wonders of the world’ according to Nick Jardine
Linnaeus’s travel journal
Mosquito from Linnaeus’s journal
The library, where many of the most beautiful books were laid out
Looking at some of the amazing books
In search of annotations of phrenological interest
Plate from Hooke’s ‘Micrographia’
Moth in Hooke’s ‘Micrographia’
Viewing Maria Sibylla Merian’s wonderful ‘Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium’.
Flamingo head plate from Mark Catesby’s ‘The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Isles’ (1754)
Grebe plate from Mark Catesby’s ‘The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Isles’ (1754)
Cyclamen plate in the library
Natalie’s own cabinet
Nautilus, paper nautilus, venus comb shell, venus flower baskets
Hornbill skull, beaver skull and warthog tusk from Natalie’s own cabinet
Thank you very much to Anne Secord, Jon Agar, Charissa Varma and Melanie Keene for their photos.