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“Schelpen op een tafel” or ‘Still-life with shells’ is a small oil on copper painting made by Balthasar van der Ast and now in the collection of the Mautitshuis, The Hague [1]. It is unknown in which year the work was made [1, 2].

MHH_0399_L

In the lower-left corner a shell is viewed from an oblique-top angle. Although the other shells appear to be tropical marine species, this shell looks like a Liguus fasciatus (Müller, 1774), a tree snail from Cuba. It is a dextral species. On the last whorl there seem to be an axial depression, which could make the specimen traceable if it was re-used and painted in a same view.

MHH_0399_d

Notes:
[1] MHH, inv. 399. http://bit.ly/1u1ZKjD.
[2] https://rkd.nl/explore/images/6587.

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