Shells from George Montagu’s collection.

The type status of these shells cannot be confirmed because they are not Vertigo antivertigo (Turbo sexdentatus, Montagu 1803) as previously thought. All eight shells were removed from the card and their apertures cleaned and none have six apertural teeth. They are all Vertigo pygmaea (Draparnaud, 1801) [confirmed by Beata Pokryszko and Robert Cameron] and as such cast doubt about Montagu’s ability to discriminate these small species.

For more information see Oliver PG, Morgenroth H (2018) Additional Type and other Notable specimens of Mollusca from the Montagu Collection in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter. Zoosystematics and Evolution 94(2): 281-303. This paper is open access.

In January 2020 the Montagu Collection was awarded Designated status by Arts Council England. This mark of distinction recognises the collection’s international significance to the scientific community - it is the most intact and taxonomically important collection of British shells of the early 19th century (1800-1816) to be found anywhere in the UK.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collector Excavator
Montagu, Colonel George (from the collection of)
Common Name
Simple Name
mollusc: shell
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)

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VERTIGINIDAE: Vertigo pygmaea