Sanibel seashell paradise and unique Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum

It should come as a surprise to nobody if I name Sanibel as the special place on Earth that has many seashell treasures. I discovered this beautiful island for myself 3 years ago during my first participation in Sea Shell Show 2009. At SanibeI I went with my family to a marvelous Seashell Museum. It was a very inspirational part of our short vacation. After the 2009 show, I knew that I would eventually return to Sanibel.
During the 2011 Seashell Show, all the participants were invited to a special event happening in the museum.
The event was interesting and had many surprises awaiting the participants of the show. First there was a spectacular presentation opened with a speech by José H. Leal
(museum director), Anne Joffe ( Shell Show Chair), Joyce Mathys( Scientific chair), Sandy Moran (Artistic Chair) and other very respectful people from Sanibel community. Jose Leal would blow into a conch to make the presentation more magical.

The museum in 2011, was completely different from  the way it was in 2009. In the central plaza was mounted a huge glass made display with the new World Record-Size Shells funded by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club. The unusual and attractive, modern looking display included the largest representatives on record of four large-size species:
Goliath Conch, Eustrombus goliath
Lightning Whelk, Busycon sinistrum
Atlantic Trumpet Triton, Charonia variegata
Horse Conch, Triplofusus giganteus
Also at the same time, the museum’s store organized a very nice auction for many interesting and old books, different nautical brochures, shells and portable displays for all guests.
Another unforgettable presentation included antique Sailor Valentines and also modern examples of this famous art form.
In the museum there were more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from all around the world open to people. Among the most eye catching expositions were shells in art and history, shell habitat, rare specimens, and fossil shells common to Southwest Florida. Also the museum had displays and games for kids. If you never had a personal experience from this special place now is the perfect time to visit it.
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1 Comment

  1. Great information and pictures.

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