large pearly iridescent shell fashioned into a cup; gold edging around opening with text and leafy design; dragon with wings and green eyes at front of raised portion of shell; leafy element in gold at top of raised portion with feet only remaining on top of ball; four feet in the form of snails; bell-like form at center bottom between feet; floral-like designs in red and green stones on body of shell

Turban snail shell cup, c. 1560

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

Travel, trade and scientific discoveries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries gave rise to a new type of collecting in which curiosities of nature and man-made works of art and science were gathered together by princes and wealthy connoisseurs in cabinets of curiosities which referred to both cabinets as well as one or more rooms. Hybrid objects, such as this turban snail shell cup were especially prized for the marriage of nature and art.

Details
Title
Turban snail shell cup
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.60
Curator Approved

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large pearly iridescent shell fashioned into a cup; gold edging around opening with text and leafy design; dragon with wings and green eyes at front of raised portion of shell; leafy element in gold at top of raised portion with feet only remaining on top of ball; four feet in the form of snails; bell-like form at center bottom between feet; floral-like designs in red and green stones on body of shell