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Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77)

Telescope shell (Telescopium telescopium), and Nicobar spindle (Fusinus nicobaricus) c.1645

Etching | 9.7 x 14.4 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 804567

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  • An etching of two shells, labelled A and B.  

    A: Telescope shell, Potamides (or Telescopium) telescopium (Linnaeus, 1758) [Potamididae; A&D p. 64]. Indo-Pacific, in mangrove mud flats, to 100mm. Inexactly copied in Buonanni 2.III.92 (reversed?). Copied in Lister, IV.8.1 ‘ad exemplar Holleri’, reversed.

    B: A spindle shell, Fusinus sp. [Fasciolariidae; A&D p. 188]. The morphology suggests the Nicobar spindle, F. nicobaricus (Röding, 1798) (syn. F. laticostatus Deshayes, 1830, which was Parthey and Pennington’s identification), though the etching does not clearly show the distinctive (though variable) patterning of that species. Indo-Pacific, to 180 mm. Copied in Buonanni, 2.III.104, turned through 120° and reversed, with the addition of a shadow. Also copied (directly, not via Buonanni) in Lister, IV.14.2, in reverse and with no credit to Hollar.

    See general notes on 804563.


    Probably acquired during the seventeenth or eighteenth century

  • Medium and techniques



    9.7 x 14.4 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Alternative title(s)

    Shell - Potamides telescopium (L.) and Fusinus laticostatus Desh. (?)