Vintage shell illustrations for you to download, totally free!


Cowries, turbans, clams and scallops! One of my favorite things to do is collect shells at my local beach. It’s almost meditative, and the joy for me is in the finding and not so much the keeping. Often I’ll trawl the length of the beach collecting shells and then throw them all back in at the end, happy to do it all over again another day. The next best thing to finding a shell on the sand? Why, it’s got to be this gallery of vintage shell illustrations!

We’ve sourced all these vintage shell illustrations from the public domain, and they’re totally free for you to download. Mainly chromolithographs or watercolor, many of the works in this gallery are by prominent naturalists of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Charles d’Orbigny. We’ve even got some gorgeous vintage scientific shell charts! Perfect to print and use as decor in your beach shack. Enjoy!