The Harp shells are among the nicest sculpted with the most intricate pattern of all gastropods.  Today there are a dozen recognized species, all of which are very similar.  All but one species are very affordable, making the Harps a favorite to collect. Placing the different specie on a table together is an excellent lesson in differentiation as they are very similar with only minor differences.
   Harpa amouretta is the easiest to identify. It is the smallest harp, generally about 2”, and the only one that is elongate whereas all the others are globular. One element of its pattern, the two by two pairing of fine blackish lines that cross elevated ribs, is unique.
   The common name is Lesser Harp. In times past it was know as Harpa minor, a name that is more fitting. It is extremely widespread in distribution across the entire Indo-Pacific region.  Harpa Amouretta lives either in sand or under rocks and in proximity to reefs. There is a little variation in color and the pattern is consistent.  Harpa amouretta does vary in weight, degree of elongation and thickness of lip.  Also there are populations where the ribs are glossy but the space between is dull.  Several subspecies have been named and generally rejected.
  These three Philippine specimens are 1.5”, 2.25” and 2.5”. All are in gem condition and were donated from the collection of Richard Kent


Greetings!  The Broward Shell Club cordially invites you to attend the 49th Annual Broward Shell Show on January 18-19, 2014 at the Emma Lou Olson Civic Center, 1801 NE 6th Street, Pompano Beach, Florida 33061, USA.  The 2014 Show is open to the Public and admission is FREE! Exhibitors may download the entry form and show rules, attached to the email, on our Facebook page,, or on our website,

Broward Shell Show Invitation, Rules and Show Information: Click on link to read:   2014 BSS RulesFINAL

Entry Forms: Scientific entry2014    Artistic entry2014    Best of the Best entry 2014

Entry forms must be received no later than Friday, January 3rd, 2014.

Each exhibitor shall submit an entry application to:

Alice Pace, 7405 SW 128 Court, Miami, FL 33183

Or Email your application attachment to:

Major scientific awards presented include the Conchologists of America (COA), Dupont, American Museum of Natural History and Best of the Best. Special club trophies include Len Hill Memorial for Most Beautiful Exhibit, Jim VunKannon Memorial Florida/Caribbean, the Gerrit DeGraaff representing a large and exceptional specimen of a chosen species, Betty Hamann Memorial Fossil Trophy, Neil Hepler Memorial for Education Excellence, Shell of the Show (self-collected and any manner) plus Best Student and Best Beginner trophies, as well.

Club artistic awards include Best in Show trophies for Hobbyist, Professional and Sailor’s Valentine, the Fay Mucha Memorial for Best Collectibles, Best Table Top, and Best in Wall Hung Shell Craft. Also, Best Student and Best Beginning trophies.

Included with the rules is a great hotel package available for those who are visiting from out of town.  Also, included is the form to be complete if you would like to attend our Judge’s Dinner on the evening of Friday, January 17, 2014.  We hope you’ll join our friendly, fun-loving club for our exciting shell show weekend.  We’ll have a great time!!!

If you have any questions, please email Alice Pace at or call 305-301-1296.

Very best regards,
Alice Pace
2014 Chairperson Broward Shell Show



January 19-20, 2013

Dr. Harry Lee and Valentino Leidi BSS 2010Hosted by the nonprofit Broward Shell Club, the Broward Shell Show offers an opportunity for shell-loving enthusiasts to enjoy an exciting weekend immersed in the wonderful world of shells.


Sonny:ClamThousands of beautiful and unusual shells from around the world will be on display and for sale. Weekend Attractions include: Competitive displays by dozens of collectors; Shell Artists showcasing their designs; International Shell Market featuring shells, shell craft, jewelry and educational shell books; a Shell ID Station where beginners or advanced shell collectors can bring their seashells for identification; Raffle items including a spectacular Sailor’s Valentine made by Brandy Llewelyn valued at $2,700, and Door Prizes.

This year, the Shell Show will add an exciting new feature. Five interesting, educational programs will be presented during the shell show. There will be a program on seashells and one program on shell craft each day. Additionally, for those of you who like to purchase on-line, there will be a program on buying shells on Ebay. Please visit our Facebook page  for additional information regarding the guest speakers,

Saturday, January 19:

12 pm – Shell Show Judge Dr. Harry Lee – Audubon’s Shells

2pm – Club member Tom Ball – Buying Shells on Ebay

4pm – Shell Show Judge Emily Savage – Basics of Arranging (Shell Craft)

Sunday, January 20:

12pm – Dr. Richard Kirk – Searching Around the World for the Most Beautiful Scallop

2pm – Jae Kellogg – The Art of Flower Making in Shell Craft

Take your picture with Sonny Ogden’s “Killer Clam”. We invite you to attend the 2013 South Florida shelling event of the year!

January 19-20, 2013

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center, 1801 NE 6 St, Pompano Beach, 33060. Hours: Saturday, 1/19/13 10am – 6pm, Sunday, 1/20/13 10am – 4pm Admission and parking are free.

For more information, call 305-467-4412 or

Best Sailor's ValentineScientific Shell Show Judge – Dr. Richard Kirk

Richard Y. Kirk graduated with a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs until his retirement in 2007.

He has been active in both the Conchologists of America (COA) and the Academy of Natural Sciences / Philadelphia Shell Club, founding the annual Philadelphia Shell Show in 1983, as past club president, auctioneer, scientific judge and co-chairing the National COA Convention in Philadelphia.

Richard was named “Fellow” at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, 2011 and is currently co-authoring a new encyclopedia of shells with Dr. Gary Rosenberg, Paul Callomon and Sue Hobbs.

Richard tells his rather humorous story. “When I was 4 years old, I did something “good” and mom decided to reward me, so she took me to the basement and brought out a round red can with an Indian on it (baking soda?), opened it and it was full of beautiful shells, she said from India, she allowed me to pick just one as my reward. It took me about an hour to choose on shell, and that night I went downstairs and took the whole can!  With shells it was love at first sight!  I still have that first shell, it was a busycon contrarium and those shells in the can as it turned out were not from India but from Florida.  I have been collecting ever since, and now have a massive worldwide marine collection that will some day go to the Academy of Natural Sciences, because it includes many species that the Academy does not yet have.  My shells are being photographed for the new encyclopedia of shells.”

Scientific Shell Show Judge – Dr. Harry Lee

Harry G. Lee was born and raised in Short Hills New Jersey, where he began the pursuit of conchology at age six. Settling in Jacksonville FL in 1974, he practiced Internal medicine until his retirement in 2006.

Harry received his education at Williams College (biology honors) and medical training at Cornell University, Emory University, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California San Francisco. He is the author of Marine Shells of Northeast Florida (2009) and over a dozen scientific papers and serves as a Field Associate of the Florida Museum of Natural History and Vice President of The Conchologists of America. He is a Trustee of the Museum of Science and History (Jacksonville) and previously served in that capacity for the Paleontological Research Institution (Cornell University) and the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum (Sanibel, FL). In addition, Harry is on the Editorial Board of The Nautilus and American Conchologist.

Harry maintains a general collection of shells but is particularly interested in American mollusks (land, freshwater, and marine) and the micromollusks of the western Atlantic. He has written over 100 popular articles related to malacology and shell collecting and judged about 65 shell shows.

Artistic Shell Show Judge – Sandy Moran

The very first Sailor’s Valentine Sandy Moran viewed changed her life and her interest grew as she learned more about the history of these objects that spoke so elegantly of a lonely sailor’s love. A person with a fine eye for artistic quality, and a love for all things connected with the sea, Sandy was inspired to realize her own vision of a unique Sailor’s Valentine. Her valentines include patterns and flowers of various unusual seashells. Many of the shells were discovered in old shell collections.

Having reached pre-eminence in her field, Sandy Moran has earned numerous first-place awards, beginning in the early nineties. Additionally, she was a featured artist on a PBS fundraiser show, featured in Martha Stewart magazine, Coastal Living magazine, La Vie Claire Magazine, Yankee Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, as well as in various Florida publications and national television.  Additionally, Sandy is Artistic Chairperson of the famed Sanibel Shell Show and a trustee of the Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum on Sanibel Island. Her work is displayed in galleries on Cape Cod, Nantucket and in Sanibel.

Artistic Shell Show Judge – Emily Savage

Emily Savage was born in Perth Amboy, N.J. and moved to Miami, Florida with her familyin 1944. She met her husband Herbert Savage in 1949 and they were married in Miami onOctober 21st, 1950. They have three children, Charlene Butler, Sharon Stewart and HerbertSavage, Jr. and six grandchildren.

Emily was active in PTA Organizations during the years her children were in school, becoming a Life Member. She was also active in the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs and served as the State Junior Director of Florida from 1962-64 when Florida was the Outstanding State in the Nation.  In 1963, she was chosen to represent Florida in the Mrs. America pageant.

She moved to Marco Island in 1978 with her family where her love of shells and her interest in them grew.  She joined the Marco Island Shell Club where she met several club members who were her mentors. She served as President and is an Honorary Member of the club.

She has won numerous ribbons in various Florida Shell Shows over the years, was awarded the Peggy Bennett Memorial Award for the Best Commercial Artistic Creation, and she has received the Best Commercial Artistic Creation Award three times at the Marco Island Shell Show.

Emily opened her shell shop, Shells by Emily, in 1985 and has been in the same location for the past 28 years. They carry a large inventory of local and imported shells, creating most of the items they sell using a various assortment of shapes and sizes of shells, providing a wide variety of shell creations including wedding favors, cake tops, bride bouquets, corsages, lamps, mirrors, containers, picture frames, and other specialty arrangements for any occasion. The friendships, camaraderie and creativity are the highlights of her day.


The Gulf Coast Shell Club will be hosting the 15th Panama City Beach Shell Show – July 13 – 15, 2012. The show will be held at the Panama City Beach Senior Center – 423 Lyndall Lane in Panama City Beach.

Check the web page for a flyer with show information and an exhibitors entry form. Please share this with your viewers and/or post it on your web page.

The Gulf Coast Shell Club meets regularly on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm at the Lake Huntington Club House. Visitors are always welcome. For additional Information visit our web site at


The Sarasota Shell Show will be held Feb. 17-19 at the Manatee County Convention Center in Palmetto. This was a new venue for us last year and proved to be a great place for a show. Setup is Friday Feb 17 in the morning, and we are open to the public in the afternoon until 5:00, when judging will commence.

If you need a place to stay we may be able to find you one with one of our members, or there are several hotels near I75 and on the road to the Convention Center you may choose from.

Rules and entry forms are available on the clubs web.

Peggy Williams, Scientific chairman


Just wanted to let you all know that the 2012 Rules, Entry Forms, and all information about the 75th Sanibel Shell Show are now ready and available on our web site which is:

Our show is celebrating this major milestone, and we would love for you all to come see what makes our show so great. Plan your vacation for March 1 ,2, and 3, 2012 and come join in our festivities.

Look forward to seeing you all there. Anne Joffe, Show Chair.



2012 Marco Island Shell Show – March 8, 9, 10, 2012 – Times: 10:00 – 4:00 p.m.
United Church of Marco
320 N. Barfield Dr.
Marco Island, FL 34145

Show Entry Forms on Website –


Only two weeks have passed and already forlorn souls are casting sidelong glances at their 2012 calendars. “When”, they say, “when oh when will the next Philadelphia Shell Show be? Our lives are a meaningless travesty without it”. Well, now it can be told – the 2012 show will be on October 20 and 21, 2012. Prime red-leaf season here in America’s finest city, and nicely timed for all your seasonal shopping. More news to come, but for now mark your calendars and get busy on baroque new exhibits that will stagger humanity.

Paul Callomon Chairman, 2012 Philadelphia Shell Show


Now that the North Carolina and Philadelphia Shell Shows are pleasant memories, we look forward to the first U.S. show of the 2012 year.  The Astronaut Trail Shell Club invites you to participate in our 32nd annual shell Festival themed “Shelling Memories” Saturday and Sunday, January 14-15, 2012.  Set up and judging on lucky Friday, January 13th.

The location is the Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E.  Hibiscus Ave, Melbourne, FL, which is a large and well lit facility.  We have one of the largest number of shell dealer and shell related products of any U.S. club shell show.

We offer the Conchologists of America (COA), DuPont, and Masters Trophies. Also an award in memory for our long time resident and member Dr. R. Tucker will be presented. We also have club trophies including  the Abbott for self collected; Fossil Trophy; Junior Trophy; Shell of Show; Self Collected Shell of Show; Florida Self-Collected Shell of Show; and many specialized artistic awards including a Premium Arts and Craft Trophy for exhibits that have already won a major award.

An awards banquet and program will be on Friday evening, January 13 (details to be provided later). There are several recommended hotels close by and many, many restaurants including a “Shells”. So for those up north, plan to spend part of January away from the snow and enjoy the Space Coast of Florida.

Please contact me for any questions at or (321) 536-2896.

Entry forms, rules are also available on our website:  Information will be sent to the Florida shell clubs for which I had addresses.

Alan Gettleman, Show Chairman


The harps are among the most elegant and beautiful of all sea shells. They have a natural gloss, are finely sculptured, have detailed patterns and colored in a palette of color coordinated shades. The harps are also among the most difficult of shells to distinguish, they all look very much the same. Even the scientists who described them had trouble in recognizing them resulting in multiple names. To this day collectors and dealers remained confused as what the proper nomenclature is.

At first glance the only difference one will see is small, medium and large size, but look closer and study the details to see all that three are distinct.  The large shell is Harps major, Roding, 1798. The middle shell is Harpa harpa, Linne 1758 and the small one is a Harpa amouretta, Roding 1798.

The harps are tropical sand dwellers usually found in fairly shallow water. Most species are Indo-Pacific though one inhabits the west cost of Central America and a second the east coast of Africa.  Our three specimens come from Viet-Nam, the Philippines and Micronesia respectively. The first two are average size while the amouretta is from a dwarf population. The Harpa harpa is 60mm.


Conus bengalensis, Okutani,1968
“The Bengal Cone”
trawled by fisherman 100m
muddy sand bottom with rubble
Andaman Sea, off Phuket, Thailand 2010
One has to wonder where this shell was hiding for so long as it was not known until 1968. The Bengal Cone is a member of the group of textile cones, which many consider the most beautiful of all shells. It is very similar to Conus gloriamaris and possibly confused. It is large, elongate, glossy and of course tented. There are two populations of Conus bengalensis. The first is from its namesake location, India’s Bay of Bengal. The other is from the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. The Andaman Sea populations tend to have an elongated tapering spire giving the shell an elegant appearance. Our shell of the month is just such a specimen. The India populations commonly have a compressed spire and sometimes slightly concave sides. As with most large cone shells, growth comes in spurts resulting in growth lines running the length of the shell. Looking closely at this specimen one can see where where growth stopped and started. Many specimens have ugly scars where breaks in the shell has healed, not this one. Our specimen is about 93mm is length making it average in size, fully adult and with a mature thick lip. It would sell for $50-70 at retail. Larger specimens can easily bring double the price.