Loading Spinner

Shells

From striking fossilized ammonite shells to beautifully polished contemporary examples, shells reveal a brilliantly beautiful legacy. Shells for sale today reflect this vibrancy, offering specimens to tantalize collectors from the seasoned paleontologist to the sophisticated designer.

The tradition of shell collecting dates back to the ancient world. In fact, one of the oldest recorded shell collections was discovered in archaeological excavations at Pompeii, the Roman coastal town subsumed by lava from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The attraction to these forms was for their beauty and variety: from luminescent to matte, smooth to articulated, shells proved compelling even for the ancient amateur.

Alongside this beauty, there is a remarkable history within each shell, as each was once the home of a mollusk. Fossilized shells add to this history by millennia, revealing the evolution and consistency of mollusk species over the vast epochs of time. Shells add a unique richness to any collection, whether held by beachcombers or prehistoric perusers.


Quick Facts

  • Those who collect shells are known as conchologists
  • Ammonites represent some of the largest recorded fossilized shells. With conical, tightly coiled shells, ammonites were documented as early as ancient Rome
  • The vast majority of mollusk shells are dextral, meaning that they open to the right. Sinistral shells, those that open to the left, are incredibly rare and are typically more coveted by avid collectors

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Medium Nautilus shell in Pearl cream nacre(Mother of Pearl) H:15cm x L:18cm
Apr 21, 8:00 PM AEST
Medium Nautilus shell in Pearl cream nacre(Mother of Pearl) H:15cm x L:18cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD19019 Bids
TURTLE SHELL
Jan 12, 1:00 PM CST
TURTLE SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1007 Bids
bp parity badge
31CM WIDE REAL CLAM SHELL MOUNTED ON PINK STONE BASE
Apr 18, 9:00 AM AEST
31CM WIDE REAL CLAM SHELL MOUNTED ON PINK STONE BASE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD605 Bids
bp parity badge
COLLECTION OF SEA SHELLS
Apr 18, 9:00 AM AEST
COLLECTION OF SEA SHELLS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD354 Bids
bp parity badge
2X LARGE SEA SHELLS, HELMET, TRUMPET TRITON
Apr 18, 9:00 AM AEST
2X LARGE SEA SHELLS, HELMET, TRUMPET TRITON
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD554 Bids
GIANT TRITON TRUMPET SEA SNAIL SHELL 15"
Apr 15, 5:00 PM EDT
GIANT TRITON TRUMPET SEA SNAIL SHELL 15"
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$201 Bid
Giant Faux Clam Shell Natural Body Gilt Interior
Apr 17, 12:00 PM EDT
Giant Faux Clam Shell Natural Body Gilt Interior
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$11 Bid
Abalone Shell Dishes
Apr 20, 9:00 AM EDT
Abalone Shell Dishes
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
MONUMENTAL GIANT SOUTH PACIFIC CLAM SHELL 27"
Apr 15, 5:00 PM EDT
MONUMENTAL GIANT SOUTH PACIFIC CLAM SHELL 27"
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $800- $1,300
$1001 Bid
Seashell, Ocean, Beach, Natural, Decor, Collectible, Specimen
Apr 23, 6:00 PM CDT
Seashell, Ocean, Beach, Natural, Decor, Collectible, Specimen
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 12, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 12, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 12, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 12, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
TURTLE SHELL
Jan 12, 1:00 PM CST
TURTLE SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
FOSSILIZED CERITH SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
FOSSILIZED CERITH SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
ABALONE SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
ABALONE SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 22, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 22, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 22, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 22, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 07, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Shells


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Americana Auctions

Americana Auctions

Easterly Auction Company

Easterly Auction Company

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery