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Shell-inlaid paintings
09-17-2009, 02:09 PM,
Shell-inlaid paintings
Hi Sonia,

Unfortunately these appear, as you said, to be made largely of cut up pieces of shell, which makes identification pretty difficult if not impossible.  I see a couple of things that may be identifiable.  First, several of the works use quite a lot of mother of pearl. Mother of pearl comes from both pearl oysters, and a number of snails, but the material from snails is visibly curved except in very small pieces.  Several of your items show rather large flat sections of pearl, so I am quite sure these came from the interior of pearl oysters, probably either the blacklip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera, or the goldlip pearl oyster, Pinctada maxima.  Something like this:

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The other thing that attracts my attention is in the bird picture on page 111.  There are some oval-shaped objects with a short spiral inside them.  I can't tell if they are inlaid, or just painted on.  But if they are inlaid, then they are the opercula (singular operculum) of turban (Turbo) shells, with the inner side showing.  The operculum is a sort of "door" that a snail uses to block the aperture of its shell when it withdraws inside. These are widely used in art and jewelry, in which trades they are called "cateyes".  Here are some pictures.  See what you think:

<a href="" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... _white.jpg</a><!-- m --></a>

<a href="" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... h34765.jpg</a><!-- m --></a>

<a href="" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... ruen_4.JPG</a><!-- m --></a>  <span class="petit">--Last edited by Paul Monfils on 2009-09-18 01:54:09 --</span>

Messages In This Thread
Shell-inlaid paintings - by dave r - 09-16-2009, 03:38 PM
Shell-inlaid paintings - by sonia - 09-16-2009, 05:54 PM
Shell-inlaid paintings - by sonia - 09-16-2009, 06:30 PM
Shell-inlaid paintings - by paul monfils - 09-17-2009, 02:09 PM

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