The Shell: A World of Decoration and Ornament
This is the most comprehensive and inspirational volume ever published on the extraordinary world of shells.
Shells have been put to an amazing array of uses – as decoration, tools, medicines and musical instruments. For nearly four millennia, millions of them were used acros the world as currency. Shells have been worn as amulets to bring fertility, good fortune or protection from the evil eye.
Above all, the beauty of shells has fired the imaginations of artists and craftsmen, and their work forms the lavish heart of this book, from the simplest beads to designs in gold and precious stones, silverware, ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture and fashion.
Shells encrusted the garden grottos and pavilions of the 17th and 18th centuries, and in the 20th century influenced the forms of landmark modernist and post-modernist buildings.
Some shells were so coveted that specimens could raise staggering sums at auction. Ingrid Thomas explores this history of shell collecting, and explains how shells can be collected responsibly today without harming our marine environments.
Includes a worldwide directory of shell collections and grottos and a photographic glossary of shells,