An engraving depicting twelve 'Cassides verrucosae' shells from the island of Ambon in eastern Indionesia. The page is Plate XXVI 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 reads:
The fourth kind of the fourth main genus which differs in shape from those found in the Mediterranean Sea, having the mixed shape of a Cassisanda Buccinum(Chapter 16, pp l21 - 124).
Plate XXVI letter A
I Murex ramosus or curl whelk, the largest of this genus with curled branches(p l23).
Plate XXVI letter B
II Murex Saxatilis or Foot whelk with protruding knobs or wrinkles over its entire body (p l23).
PlateXXVI letter C
III Murex Minor or Brandaris, there are four types, all with a small Unguis which can serve as incense (p l23).
PlateXXVI letter D
Murex Minimus or Little Scorpion, has the shape of scorpion legs, rarely found(p 124).
PlateXXVI letter E
Murex or The Dried Pear, a raised, bossed little whelk with a twisted tail (p l24).
PlateXXVI letter F
Haustellum or Little Scoop, has a round head, wrinkled and with three seams, without thorns(p 124).
PlateXXVI letter G
Tribulus or Spider, with long sharp thorns on its three seams like Lemonthorns(p l24).
PlateXXVI no 1
Murex Ramosus or Heartwhelk, uncommon (p l24).
PlateXXVI no 2
Murex Minor, the background is white and the branches or curls are black, very rare (p l23).
PlateXXVI no 3
Tribulus or Little Combs, among the rarest of curiosities (p l24).
PlateXXVI no 4
Haustelli or Snipe's Head, branched (p l24).
PlateXXVI no 5
Haustellialtera or Snipe's Head, thorny (p l24).