Celebrating our 'Shellversary'
The traditional 17th anniversary gift is made from shell which symbolically reflects the nature of the occasion. Shells come from the ocean, and an ocean's vast expanse and hidden depths reflect the nature of a seventeen-year relationship, the depths of which are still being explored. An ocean can be completely calm, or wild and stormy, mirroring the trials of life that can cause a relationship to have its ups and downs.
Help us celebrate 17 years at Grey Roots and explore some of the interesting shell artefacts found in the collection.
Engraving from Ferrante Imperato's Dell'Historia Naturale (Naples, 1599). This is the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet. An assortment of shells can be seen displayed on the ceiling.
Frans Francken the Younger's Kunst- und Raritätenkammer (Chamber of Art and Curiosities), painted in 1636, depicts the corner of a cabinet and showcases an assortment of shells.
Illustration showing the Cabinet of Curiosity of Ole Worm (1588 - 1654). Worm, also known as Olaus Wormius, was a Danish physician, natural historian, antiquarian, and professor at the University of Copenhagen. Note the Conchiliata (shells) and the tortoiseshells hanging on the wall.
I have got a new madness, I am running wild after shells… the beauty of shells is as infinite as flowers, and to consider how they are inhabited enlarges a field of wonder that leads one insensibly to the great Director and author of these works.