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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Two Rare and Curious Archimboldesque Shell Figures"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Depicting two Chinamen
2nd half 18th Century
Ornamental shell-work as we know it began in the early 18th Century and was initially very much a European tradition. It was directly inspired by the quantities of exotic foreign shells, which poured into European ports from expeditions to the East and West Indies and from the American continent. The rarer specimens were immediately snapped up by influential collectors and displayed in their cabinets of curiosities. Others were purchased, sometimes in large quantities to adorn shell grottoes that were becoming all the rage in fashionable affluent society. With the availability of these often outstanding and beautiful shells, shell-work alongside the traditional pursuits of tapestry and embroidery emerged as a new society pastime and was the perfect embodiment of the Rococo ideal.