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The engraving presented here, entitled “Lagena” is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The design was made by Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527–1607), and is part of a series of 12. This work is dated 1563 [1].

1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247

The design shows a jug, richly decorated with snails and crustaceans. In the centre a representation of a ‘Fluviatile God’ (stroomgod). At the base three duck-like feet are shown. It is therefore possible that the snails in this design were drawn after freshwater species, but anyhow they seem pretty imaginary and stylised to me.

From top to bottom:
1) a pair with few whorls, of which one sinistral, the other only partly visible but likely dextral;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d1

2) a somewhat elongated dextral one;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d2

3) a Helix-type, likely dextral;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d3

4) a sinistral snail with hardly more than one whorl;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d4

5) a similar one with a dextral shell;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d5

6) an elongated snail with a sinistral shell;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d6

7) another sinistral snail with a hardly coiled shell;
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d7

8) and finally, another elongated one with a dextral shell.
1563_Vredeman de Vries RP-P-1952-247_d8

Some of these animals look hardly like a snail, but undoubtedly this has to be blamed to the technique used for this engraving, which may have been responsible for some of the rather coarse results.

Note:
[1] RMA RP-P-1952-247. http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.409497.

 

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