Anton Zeven was born at Malang, now Indonesia, on 9th of March 1933. He studied tropical agronomy at the Agricultural University (now Wageningen University and Research). After a stay of five years as Agronomist and Officer–in-Charge with the West African/Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research substation Abak, Anang Province he returned to the Netherlands to join the teaching and research staff of the Department of Plant Breeding of his former university. He obtained his doctor’s degree on a thesis dealing with semi-wild oil palm groves in south-east Nigeria.
One of Anton Zeven’s main interests was crop history, which he also studied by investigating the many paintings by 17th-19th century Dutch and Flemish artists. He tried to answer the question; what are landraces? In 1995 he retired as Associate Professor.
Around 1980 he became interested in heraldry, sigillography and merchant marks (marcology), and collected information on these subjects about families of the Veluwe area (prov. Gelderland) for the Genealogische Vereniging Veluwse Geslachten (Genealogical Society of Veluwe Families), of which he is one of the founders and now honorary president. He prepared many publications on the above subjects, including a CD-ROM (circa 1500 A4 pages with some 2500 pictures) on the coat-of-arms of the Veluwe families.
Anton Zeven also published a book (2 parts) on the 1500 seals found in the Wageningen city archives and on coats-of arms in armorials in the Provincial Archives of Gelderland.
He was one of the editors of the Dutch ‘Heraldisch Tijdschrift’ and the heraldic and sigillographic Dutch journal ‘Blazoen’. He also publishes in journals including ‘Heraldicum Disputationes’, ‘De Nederlandsche Leeuw’, ‘Oud-Wageningen’ and ‘Veluwse Geslachten’. Together some 250 articles.
He is married with Nineke Charlotte Hissink, who has composed with a computer drawing program coats-of-arms. Both living in Wassenaar. He has two children, two children-in-law and two marvellous grand-daughters.