Dragon Shell

Ocean Objects

Dragon Shell


Shell, mounts and the invisibles

story by Anna Grasskamp

This story is part of the Ocean Objects series, supported and funded by Research Grants Council Hong Kong (GRF 12603017). This story is about a shell that travelled all the way from Asia to Renaissance Europe. In China, its surfaces were decorated with intricate patterns of dragons, birds and flowers. In Europe, it was reframed by a goldsmith, who turned it into one of many ‘nautilus cups’ by placing it on a bird’s foot made of gilded silver. It is all beautifully done, but not everything is visible…

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