Pair of George III shell works

The urns within these glass cloches are adorned with a delicate mosaic of minute seashells, including the distinctive beaks of sea urchins, arranged to create harmonious and repeating geometric patterns. This intricate shellwork is a testament to the artisan’s precision and the Georgian fascination with natural history and the curiosities of the marine world.

Nestled within each urn is an enchanting assemblage of floristry, composed of shells, dyed paper, and wire to portray blooms, foliage, and berries in a celebration of eternal spring. These floral arrangements are an exquisite marriage of the organic and the crafted, showcasing an art form where meticulous attention to detail was paramount, and the imitation of nature’s beauty in permanent form was a pursuit of the era’s finest artisans.

Adding to the allure of these arrangements, the base of each urn is embellished with an assortment of natural corals, tumbled rocks, clam and snail shells, further anchoring the pieces in the Georgian era’s enchantment with the natural world. These elements are not merely decorative; they are symbolic, reflecting the early 19th-century’s burgeoning interest in exploration, discovery, and the natural sciences.

This pair of urns, preserved under glass, have been safeguarded from the passage of time, their colours as vivid and their details as crisp as when they were first assembled. They are not only remarkable specimens of decorative art but also historical vignettes that capture the spirit of their time.

These pieces are suited to grace the most refined and sophisticated of interiors, promising to be a focal point of conversation and admiration. Nicholas Wells Antiques is proud to offer these rare and enchanting creations to discerning collectors and enthusiasts of historical and decorative arts.

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Pair of George III shell works

Pair of George III Shellworks

Stock Number: 62756

Nicholas Wells Antiques is delighted to present a pair of exquisitely crafted, early-19th century English shellworks, each encompassing a campagna-shaped urn meticulously veneered to simulate the esteemed Blue John stone. Originating from the period circa 1800, these objets d’art are a consummate representation of Georgian ingenuity and aesthetics.

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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 6920 897

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Delivery Options

We will ship worldwide however the costs vary between countries so please email us for a quote. Depending on the item we will recommend the most suitable method.

Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.


All items are sent fully insured at the invoice value.


All items are inclusive of all local taxes but may be subject to additional charges for importation and taxes local to the client. Antiques are zero-rated to the USA, all items ship with the correct paperwork. While we are not liable for these additional charges we do encourage clients to research these prior to purchasing items from us. We will make a full value disclosure, as required by the insurance, on all items sent overseas. This is required to ensure proper insurance cover in sending valuable items.


Where required we will oversee the completion of all export licenses for high-value items. We will also arrange for CITES paperwork for materials of endangered species including ivory, tortoiseshell, stuffed birds etc.


This is dependent on the size and value of the object, all items are checked over and polished before shipping and will generally have wooden crates made. This all takes time so expect 10 – 20 working days for delivery unless the item is small in which case 2-3 days from order.


Every effort is made to make Customs Clearance as quick as possible, items held in customs are out of our control. They may require documents / ID to release the goods, please keep this in mind, it is just procedure.


All our antiques now also come with an invoice as a Valuation Certificate for insurance purposes.


In the UK Online sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’. We offer a refund to customers if you’ve told us within 3 days of receiving the goods that you want to cancel. You have another 14 days to return the goods once you’ve told us of your intention. A refund will be issued within 14 days of receiving the goods back in the same condition. Return shipping should be the same level as received with insurance, we recommend using the same shipper at your cost. If needed we will help organise suitable shipping.

We will refund the purchase price, excluding delivery costs and taxes, within 14 days of the safe receipt of items in the same condition as supplied. The liability for any damage incurred during transit will remain with the sender. We recommend that adequate insurance is placed on items when returning them to us.

All returns must be communicated prior to an item being sent back.

We extend these Return terms to our international clients.


Our description of any item on the website, any condition report and any other statement made by us (whether orally or in writing) about any item, including about its nature or condition, artist, period, materials, approximate dimensions, or provenance are our opinion and not to be relied upon as a statement of fact.

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