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Shells: Treasures of the Sea
     

Shells: Treasures of the Sea

by Leonard Hill
 
Nature has created an almost infinite variety of life in the sea, and seashells are the prize of this vast environment. Shells reveals the striking patterns and forms that make shells a work of art in their own right, from the extraordinary architectural detail of the chambered nautilus to the varied hues of the senatorial scallop. Moreover, shells have had a

Overview

Nature has created an almost infinite variety of life in the sea, and seashells are the prize of this vast environment. Shells reveals the striking patterns and forms that make shells a work of art in their own right, from the extraordinary architectural detail of the chambered nautilus to the varied hues of the senatorial scallop. Moreover, shells have had a significant influence on many facets of society. Through lively and informative text and more than 300 striking photographs presented in an oversized format, Shells depicts Iroquois money belts made from the shell of the quahog; a cowrie headdress used by a Mali witch doctor; and the scallop shell motif in art and architecture. Also featured are rare photographs of the fascinating creatures that live within shells; current data on collecting practices and trends; and a discussion of environmental issues around collection and conservation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hill, a marine biologist and authority on shells, has teamed with nature photographer Pete Carmichael to produce this exquisitely lovely survey of the world's shells, combining hundreds of spectacular color photographs, many taken underwater, with a richly informative text. Beginning with mollusks' evolution from flat worms more than 600 million years ago, they explore the genetics of shell coloration and patterning, shell architecture, the biology and reproduction of mollusks. Special sections are devoted to a history of shell collecting; freshwater mussels of U.S. rivers and their close association with fish; shell money ranging from the Solomon Islands to Native American wampum; and pearls. Along with astonishing photos of exotic specimens, there are many examples of shells used in art, ritual and everyday life, for example, Victorian thimble-holders made from cut nautilus, an Ethiopian dance belt, the sacred chank shell of India, blown as a trumpet to drive away evil spirits, or 19th-century sailor's valentines, octagonal, glass-covered shell mosaics bought in foreign ports by American sailors and whalers for sweethearts back home. This book will delight shell collectors and prove to be a revelation for the general reader. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780883634769
Publisher:
Levin, Hugh Lauter Associates
Publication date:
10/01/2000
Edition description:
2ND
Pages:
311
Product dimensions:
11.04(w) x 14.30(h) x 1.33(d)

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