Ladies bag a pellicia

Early 20th century, I-Sardinia. MC-Monaco, Musée Océanographique, inventaory no. 97 5843 (MS Inventory 5)

Petite bourse de dame en byssus, sea-silk fur a pelliccia, gold-colored metal frame and chain, lined with blue taffeta, 13 x 13 cm. Traces of use on one side.


For the inauguration of the new Oceanographic Museum in Monaco in 1910, Prof. Jules Richard, director of the museum until 1945, asked Giuseppe Basso Arnoux for items from sea-silk. This bag was then bought by the museum for 70 francs - together with other objects (including cap, pendant, cord). The scientists present were impressed by the unique collection: «...dove destò la più viva ammirazione e l'entusiasmo degli scienziati, per la sottigliezze straordinaria e la delicata morbidezza dei magnifici esemplari tosto acquistati dal Museo stesso, come raccolta veramente unica.»

This bag was shwon in 2000 in the exhibition Parures de la mer of the Musée Océanographique and in the catalogue (Doumenge 2000).


Ladies bag a pellicia
Ladies bag a pelliccia, early 20th c., I-Sardinia. MC-Monaco, Musée Océanographique, inventory no. 97 5843 (MS Inventory 5)



Pinna shell with a colored (?) photo of the Opéra de Paris
Pinna shell with a colored (?) photo of the Opéra de Paris
Besides the four inventoried items, three other beards of sea-silk are noted in the main catalogue of the museum under the numbers 97 5847, 97 5848, 97 5849. They were purchased for 50, 10 and 5 francs. Under no 97 5850 5 only purified beards of different colors are listed, to 25 francs.

No 97 6534 is a shell about 70 cm in length, with a colored (?) photo of the Opéra de Paris. Label: acheter chez Boutique Degory, Rue Louis Blay, Paris 10e le 17 juillet 1909.

Two other Pinna shells are mentioned, also several pearls of Pinna nobilis and two Pinnas in faience.


Other sources: Basso-Arnoux 1916, Zanetti 1964, Bardini Barbafiera 1994, Carta Mantiglia 1997, McKinley 1998