The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.
This description is from Tina, the museum’s associate curator of malacology. She has chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating shells and animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org– throughout the year.
The “Leafy Jewel Box” is very popular with shell enthusiasts because of their fantastic sculpted structure. This most exceptional specimen was brought up from deep water; 60 to 90 fathoms, by a fisherman’s net. This accounts for the lace effect on the fronds. The lower valve had a fractionally small area of attachment to the bottom rock formation which accounts for the near perfect condition of the fronds sculpture.