An exceptionally rare set of three shell work ﬂoral ornaments consisting of one pair and one central ornament on slightly differing stand. Created with a large variety of shells from many parts of the world to form a highly colouful display of fauna, ﬂowers and wheat sheaf of superb quality, delicacy and artistry. Each ornament with a glass dome and mahogany stand on turned feet . The ﬂoral bouquets with a mass of ﬂower heads and wheat sheaf raised on decorated urn vases surrounded by shells and fauna.
Measurements: Pair: Height 24in./ 61cm. Diameter 9.5in./ 24cm.
Single: Height 30.24in./ 77cm. Diameter 12.75in./ 32cm.
The creation of pieces made from shells can be found in various forms, examples being the Sharpham Stand made in the late 18th. Century to contain a shell work grotto and an Irish cabinet made in 1810 containing a fantasy grotto of shell work, made by Elizabeth Penrose. Shell work pieces are known from the 17*“. Century, by the 18"‘. Century shell work had become a popular craft usually carried out by by women, in 1703 the Edinburgh Gazette was advertising the services of a woman in London teaching shell work techniques. The diarist Boswell also refers to a Miss Mclean an accomplished shell work lady in Scotland.
A very similar pair in the Victoria and Albert Museum and illustrated in the "Dictionary of English Furniture" by Ralph Edwards and Percy Macquoid, 1954 rev. ed. Q 111, p.116,fig 1.