Step 3 of 4

A Snail

Related Images

  • Wenzel Jamnitzer - Decorative jug with turbo snails, c. 1570 - [ Bavarian Palace Department](
  • Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) in his 1606 [encyclopedia of animal specimens](

Two snails with their shells were originally attached to the cup on each side of the nautilus, one of which has survived. Other vessels from the same period also feature sculpted snails alongside Asian shells. Early modern Europeans connected large conches to creatures that resemble water snails.

Accordingly, the inventory of 1596 of the cabinet of curiosities in which the nautilus shell cup was held describes it as “a beautiful Indian snail shell with gilded mounts”. (Ein scheener indianischer, mit vergultem beschlecht, schneggen).[Cf]