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Plate XVIII depicting Nautilus Tenuis shells, taken from the 'Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet' by Georgius Everhardus Rumphius.

Date: 1705
Overall: 386 x 245 mm, 0.01 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00017862
Place Manufactured:Amsterdam

User Terms

    An engraving depicting five Nautilus Tenuis shells from the island of Ambon in eastern Indionesia. The page is Plate XVIII from the book 'Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet' researched and written by Georgius Everhardus Rumphius and published in 1705.
    Rumphius was employed by the Dutch East India Company and undertook extensive natural history research on Ambon where he lived for over 40 years.

    SignificanceGeorgius Everhardus Rumphius, also known as the "Indian Pliny", was one of the great tropical naturalists of
    the seventeenth century. Born in Germany, he spent most of his life in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, stationed on the island of Ambon in eastern Indonesia. Despite extensive personal tragedies, including the loss of his sight, Rumphius perservered to produce a definitive work on the area.

    HistoryThe accompanying text for this page reads;

    "Plate XVIII no 1
    Nautilus tenuis, known by old devotees as the Linen Coif because of its shape and brittleness, because it far more resembles a cloth coif as people were wont to wear, than a whelk from such a wild element as these a (pp96-97).
    Plate XVIII no 2
    The mizzen or small raised sail with which this animal sails (p97).
    Plate XVIII no 3
    The oars with which this animal steers or rows, the shell is entirely different since it had knobs on its ribs (p97).
    PlateXVIII no 4
    This shell is much finer than the foregoing, with a broader keel, wider stomach, made of a whiter substance, with knobs on its weals (p97).
    PlateXVIII no 5
    This shell has the shape of a cap of a farmer's wife from Waterland, is quite broad , flat on top, has something of a keel, but has twisted weals and knobs, and is not as evenly sided as the other ones (p97). "

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