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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

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Assorted Shells Including Whelks, Nautilus and Tritons, Papua New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific Region
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Assorted Shells Including Whelks, Nautilus and Tritons, Papua New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific Region
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD10011 Bids
A collection of nautilus shells
May 20, 10:00 AM AEST
A collection of nautilus shells
by Gibson's
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD65010 Bids
R.T & D. A brown vintage collection various seashells & coral (crate 7 x 58 x 39cm)
May 23, 10:00 AM AEST
R.T & D. A brown vintage collection various seashells & coral (crate 7 x 58 x 39cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD1108 Bids
Three Trumpet Shells, Charonia Tritonis, Western Australia
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Three Trumpet Shells, Charonia Tritonis, Western Australia
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD907 Bids
R.T & D. A brown vintage collection various seashells (crate 8 x 58 x 38cm)
May 23, 10:00 AM AEST
R.T & D. A brown vintage collection various seashells (crate 8 x 58 x 38cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD906 Bids
Various Clam Shells, Indo-Pacific Region
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Various Clam Shells, Indo-Pacific Region
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD806 Bids
A Large Helmet Shell, Cassis Cornuta, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Large Helmet Shell, Cassis Cornuta, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD120
AUD605 Bids
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GENUINE NATURAL CLAM SHELL 39CM WIDE
May 23, 9:00 AM AEST
GENUINE NATURAL CLAM SHELL 39CM WIDE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD505 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Shells Including Augers (Chlorate, Babylon, Lance, Affinis and Eyed), Papua New Guinea and The Philippines
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Shells Including Augers (Chlorate, Babylon, Lance, Affinis and Eyed), Papua New Guinea and The Philippines
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Cowrie Shells, The Philippines
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Cowrie Shells, The Philippines
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD454 Bids
Assorted Shells Including Marbled Volutes, Cones and Spindles, Indonesia and Japan
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Assorted Shells Including Marbled Volutes, Cones and Spindles, Indonesia and Japan
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD454 Bids
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including New Guinea and North Queensland
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including New Guinea and North Queensland
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including New Guinea and North Queensland
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including New Guinea and North Queensland
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including the Pacific Islands, New Guinea and North Queensland
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including the Pacific Islands, New Guinea and North Queensland
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Murex Shells, Indonesia
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Murex Shells, Indonesia
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
Assorted Cowrie and Tiger Shells, Thailand and The Philippines
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Assorted Cowrie and Tiger Shells, Thailand and The Philippines
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Cowrie Shells from Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Cowrie Shells from Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD354 Bids
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LOT OF SHELLS & CORALS
May 23, 9:00 AM AEST
LOT OF SHELLS & CORALS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD403 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Miter and Cone Shells and Water Snails, New Zealand, Western Australia & Tasmania
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Miter and Cone Shells and Water Snails, New Zealand, Western Australia & Tasmania
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD303 Bids
Assorted Shells and Coral, The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Assorted Shells and Coral, The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD453 Bids
A Collection of Various Cone Shells, Thailand
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Various Cone Shells, Thailand
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD120
AUD303 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Small Cowrie Shells from Various Indo-pacific and American Locations
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Small Cowrie Shells from Various Indo-pacific and American Locations
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD302 Bids
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and France
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Land Snail Shells from Various Locations Including New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and France
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD302 Bids
A Collection of Assorted Small Cowrie Shells, Various Indo-pacific and American locations
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Assorted Small Cowrie Shells, Various Indo-pacific and American locations
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD502 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Shells


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Easterly Auction Company

Easterly Auction Company

TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions