Bezoar stones were first documented in a western publication of a four-volume catalogue entitled, Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri Accurata Descriptio.
Albertus Seba (1665-1736) was a Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and natural specimens collector. The thesaurus shows illustrations of his entire collections – from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, insects, butterflies and more, as well as fantastic beasts, such as a hydra and a dragon.
In a modern reprint of the thesaurus, there is a mention in the notes section:
“Since ancient times, stones taken from particular animals were considered to possess magical and medical powers. In Seba’s day bezoars were extraordinary popular. These stones formed from hairs that had accumulated and gummed together in the stomachs of ruminants. In a broader sense other stones taken from animals are likewise termed bezoars.”
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