A Victorian shellwork diorama, in the shape of a starfish. Inside the glass 'porthole' is a chromolithograph of a three-masted sailing ship and steamship passing a lighthouse, in front of which is an artfully arranged display of shells and seaweed, creating a 3D effect to the view. A few minor shell losses, but overall in good condition.
These shellwork dioramas were produced in the late Victorian/early Edwardian period as souvenirs of coastal towns and seaside locations, and were often bought by sailors as presents for their sweethearts.
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