Fur fragment, time unknown, I-Taranto. UK-London, Natural History Museum, Invertebrates I (Mollusca), 198090 (MS Inventory 41)
Backside of the fur fragment
Detail back of the fur fragment
Label to the fur fragment
Fur fragment, time unknown, I-Taranto. UK-London, Natural History Museum, Invertebrates I (Mollusca), 198090 (MS Inventory 41).
Sea silk fur, machine sewn, sewn with yellow cotton thread. Dark beige backside, hand-stitched, blue running stitch (probably new). Old lining, pinkish; brown silk interlining, 10.5 x 25 cm.
Specifications: “unspun fibres handsewn on fabric as a shaggy mat (approx. 600 x 400mm?). Poison 1979-80, from Taranto”.
Label printed/handwritten: ”British Museum (Natural History), 198090, ‘cloth’ made from a large number of byssus threads of Pinna nobilis Linné from Taranto, Italy. Pres. Mrs E.M. Parsons on behalf of Mr R.E.R. Parsons (see corresp. 124/1979 &136/1980)”.
Associated note, handwritten: ”Anyes (?) Cottage, This is to your museum. It is made from the secretion of fish caught in S. Italy. I got it from an old woman at Taranto – very rare now as the fishermen don’t bother to put it together… N.G. Strangeway (?)”
McKinley 1998 compares this object to the colour photograph in Mastrocinque 1928, where he describes the production of sea silk fur.