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Gibsone’s Conches Spread 0 cover
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Gibsone's Conches

Introduction

Gibsone's Conches were bought by public subscription in 1890 and presented to Newcastle Public Library where they have been housed ever since. The collection consists of 7,260 watercolour prints of 3,025 species of sea-shells painted in meticulous detail by local entrepreneur George Gibsone.

For many years after moving to Newcastle, Gibsone had taken a keen interest in the natural sciences, and was a member of what is today the Natural History Society of Northumbria. He painted coins, plants, minerals and shells and acquired great dexterity in illustrating conchology. He travelled the coasts of England, Scotland and France to obtain specimens for his illustrations and colleagues provided him with specimens from more distant countries.

A selection of the watercolours is available to view on the website to give a flavour of the richness and variety contained in the collection. With the help of a Heritage Lottery Funded grant in 2007 the whole collection is now housed in conditions which will preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

Collection: Gibsone’s Conches