Moretzsohn, Fabio; M G Harasewych

Shells have captivated humans from the dawn of time: the earliest known artwork was made on a shell. As well as containers for food, shells have been used as tools, jewellery and decorations for dwellings, and to bring good luck or to ward off spirits. Many indigenous peoples have used shells as currency, and in a few places they still do. This beautifully illustrated book looks at the scientific and cultural history of shells, showing how their diverse colourful forms take shape. It examines pearls, the only gems of animal origin, as well as how shells have inspired artists throughout history. The book looks at shells used in architecture and ritual, but also how shells are indicators of changing environmental conditions. Also including two essays by shell expert M. G. Harasewych, emeritus curator of gastropods in the Smithsonian’s Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Shells is an authoritative exploration of the deep human connection to these molluscan exoskeletons of sea, lake, land, and stream.

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SKU: 39807 Categories: , ,


Reaktion Books, October 2023.  176 pages, hardcover, 104 colour and black and white illustrations