Collection Online
The shell
etching, engraving and drypoint
8.4 × 13.2 cm (image) 9.7 × 13.3 cm (plate) 10.0 × 13.4 cm (sheet)
Catalogue/s Raisonné
Bartsch 159; Hind 248 ii/ii; White & Boon 59 ii/iii; NHD 247 ii/iii
2nd of 3 states
printed in ink l.l.: Rembrandt. f. 1650.
Accession Number
International Prints / International Prints and Drawings
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1973
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of the Joe White Bequest
Gallery location
Not on display
Subjects (general)
Subjects (specific)
allover patterns cone shell shading shadows shell (animal material) spirals (geometric figures)


Watermark Form
Foolscap with five-pointed collar
The Foolscap watermark is an emblem of the court jester and likely originates from Germany. An early example is found in 1340 and by the mid 16th century the mark is often accompanied by a countermark of the many different papermakers who adopted the motif throughout Germany, France and Switzerland. The collar of the Foolscap watermark is usually depicted with either a five-pointed, seven-pointed or nine-pointed collar, the five-point motif is thought to be the earlier design and the seven-point is likely a French design. The Foolscap watermark was commonly applied to sheets designed for printing and writing with standard dimensions and therefore the term 'Foolscap' is still used today to reference a standard size sheet. In England the Foolscap watermark was superseded by the figure of Britannia yet retained the same standard dimension for printing and writing papers.
Watermark and variant description
Foolscap with five-pointed collar - variant K.a.b. Large bells on the collar. The peak of the cap divided vertically . Short braid with a ribbon, with countermark LB.a.
Related watermarks in the NGV collection
The countermark to Foolscap with five-pointed collar, variant K.a.b. is countermark LB.a. and is found in the paper of NGVs Rembrandt impression Cottage with a white paling.
Closely related watermark references
Churchill 339; Heawood 1921-22 (1648-49).
Chain Line Interval
22-26 mm
Laid Line Frequency
11 per cm
Placement and spacing of wires
? x ? [?|26|?] x ?
Wire Side
Radiograph taken from