Sea silk is the cleaned and combed fibre beard of the noble fan shell (Pinna nobilis L.), the largest shell in the Mediterranean. It is a rare textile material that was already known in antiquity and coveted for its shimmering golden sheen.

The project

Sea silk – a subject for myths and legends. Every era cultivates its own and creates new ones. What was, what is sea silk really? 

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The inventory

one of the most amazing objects: Botticelli’s Venus, embroidered with sea silk, from Taranto, in a 6 x 8 cm frame … 

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Felicitas Maeder, Dr.h.c.
Projekt Muschelseide
Natural History Museum Basel
Augustinergasse 2, CH-4001 Basel

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