Nautilus bowls are unusual and mysterious. The clamshells of cephalapods serve as base for such bowl. Nautiluses appeared on earth 500 million years ago and haven’t change much since then. To ancient Greeks the spiral form of the shell symbolized the Universe. Pearl items were highly valued due to their straw-colored, shimmering rose and light blue colors. The 16-17th centuries became the age of discovery and travels and witnessed the growth of popularity of nautilus-based pieces. It was then that their bizzare form came into fashion for it pointed out the beauty of rare and precious creatures.
Artists from Augsburg, Nurnberg and Hamburg gained exceptional skills in making nautilus bowls. They used gold and silver to frame the bowls and added engravings often featuring scenes from antique mythology and connected to sea. Hermitage offers beautiful examples of such nautilus bowls ordered by Peter l and even his father before him ordered from Germany. Nowadays many craftsmen turn to creating nautilus bowls. They find inspiration in the museum exhibits to create new ways of framing the extraordinary nature masterpieces.