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Attributed to Vincenzo Leonardi (1589/90-1646)

Noble pen shell c. 1630-40

RCIN 932926

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This large bivalve, common in the Mediterranean, lives buried in the seabed, anchored by golden fibrous threads which can be woven into a textile. The upper view shows the outside of the shell (with an oyster attached to the specimen), while the lower view shows the shell opened to display the animal’s anatomy.