image mendes da costa, e_elements of conchology_1776_pl2_copy
Image number: RS.14130
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Shell and fossil specimens




Peter Brown (1758-1799, British), Illustrator

Object type

Library reference




height (print): 199mm
width (print): 270mm


Content object

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Conchological study of thirteen shell and fossil types. Includes, in some cases, depictions of their external and internal surfaces.

Figure one: The Goat’s Eye Limpet (Cymbula oculus)
Figure two: The Chambered Limpet (Patella vulgate)
Figure three: The Mask Limpet (Lottia pelta)
Figure four: The Abalone Shell, listed as the 'Sea Ear' (Haliotis asinina)
Figures five and seven: Worm Shells (Vermiculus)
Figure six: A group of common Worm Shells (Vermiculi)
Figure eight: The Watering Pot Shell (Verpa penis)
Figures nine and ten: An Elephant’s Tooth (Eliphanti dente)
Figure eleven: The Speckled Periwinkle Shell (Diloma concameratum)
Figures twelve, thirteen: The Straight Horn Shell (Orthoceras)
Figures fifteen, twenty and twenty one: Ammonites (Ammonoid)
Figures sixteen and seventeen: The Sailor Shell (Nautilus)
Figures eighteen and nineteen: A Ram’s Horn

Plate two from Emanuel Mendes da Costa’s book, Elements of conchology: or, an introduction to the knowledge of shells, 1776. Inscribed above: ‘PL. II’

References made in the accompanying text to various earlier conchological catalogues, including: Pedro Francisco Davila’s Catalogue systématique et raisonné des curiosités de la nature et de l'art, 1767, Niccolo Gualtieri’s Index Tastarum Conchyliorum, 1742, and Johannes Philippus Breynius’ Dissertatio physica de Polythalamiis, 1732.

Emanuel Mendes da Costa (1717-1791) naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1747.

Peter Brown (active 1758-1799) British naturalist and natural history illustrator illustrated da Costa's Elements of conchology.

Object history

Volume donated to the Royal Society by Ronald Winckworth, British natural historian, 1942.

Related Fellows

Emanuel Mendes da Costa (1717-1791), Naturalist