A painter whose father was an engraver and publisher of the same name, Matthäus Merian (1621–1687) published this remarkable group of unusual and highly imaginative animal illustrations. This copyright-free collection includes a large and fascinating selection of engravings that illustrate scientific specimens and legendary creatures ― all meticulously reproduced from an extremely rare eighteenth-century edition. Carefully arranged into six major divisions (quadrupeds, snakes, mollusks and crustaceans, fish, birds, and insects), approximately 1,300 copyright-free images include realistic and fanciful portrayals of a varied array of real animals, in addition to such imaginary creatures as unicorns, dragons, basilisks, harpies, griffins, and other mythical beasts. Identifying captions in Latin accompany many of the illustrations. Commercial artists, illustrators, and craftspeople will find a host of uses for these lovingly detailed engravings: as book and magazine illustrations and as attention-getting graphics ideal for enhancing flyers, brochures, newsletters, and any number of other print projects. Art lovers and antiquarians ― anyone with an interest in the art and ideas of an earlier era ― will enjoy browsing through these wonderful antique images.