image mendes da costa, e_elements of conchology_1776_pl3 copy
Image number: RS.14131
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Shell 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 nine shell types. Includes, in some cases, depictions of their external and internal surfaces.

Figures one and two: The Cowry Shell (Cypraeidae)
Figure three: The Weavers Shuttle Shell, a type of east Indian Univalve (Radius volva)
Figures four and five: The Dipper Shell, also a type of Univalve (Radius volva)
Figure six: The Paper Nautilis Shell (Argonauta argo)
Figures seven and eight: The Venus Ear Shell (Haliotis spadicea)
Figure nine: listed as the ‘Cochlea Strombiformis’, appears to depict a high spired shell (Turritella communis)
Figure ten: The Gastropod Shell (Cochlea Helix)
Figures eleven, twelve, fourteen and fifteen – Nerite Shells (Neritidae)
Figure thirteen – A Trochus Shell (Tectus niloticus)

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

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 Mendes 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