A Large 19thC Antique Loggerhead Turtle Shell


Origin: English
Period: Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880
Height: 3.5 inches
Length: 18.5 inches
Width: 17 inches (at widest point)

An impressive carapace, that is, the upper part of the turtle shell, with a small chip to the tail end, but otherwise in quite good, complete condition. The segments of the shell (or scutes), are well defined and the skeletal ribs on the underside are both intriguing and rather eerie looking. There are two small holes present at either end of the shell for hanging purposes.

The Loggerhead turtle is one of the best-loved of the turtle species, can grow to a length of 45 inches, and are known as ‘Loggerhead’ owing to their unusually large head. They were once hunted extensively for their meat and eggs, their egg shells were used for jewellery and combs, and their fat for cosmetics. They are now internationally protected, but as this example is nineteenth-century, it does not necessitate CITES certification. A glorious throwback to an era of great scientific fascination, that would be an asset to anyone interested in the Weird and the Wonderful.