Author Topic: Japha Conch Shell  (Read 848 times)

Offline tommobecket

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Japha Conch Shell
« on: Sunday 27 November 16 19:42 GMT (UK) »
I was wondering if anyone might help identify the source of this conch shell and any links to the owner Lil Moore.  The shell is inscribed:
William John Japha born November 25th 1820
Anne
Maria his beloved wife was born November 20th 1828

The conch shell was owned by Lil Moore who lived in Liverpool, but we donít think she had any living family when she died. As far as we can see there was only one Lilian in the Japha family tree, so she may be Lilian Suckley (born 1909), daughter of Ethel Japha and Thomas Suckley. Ethel being the granddaughter of William and Anne Maria by John Robinson Japha (1852-1880) and Mary Whitehead. But we have no idea if she married.
The origin of the shell is mystery, although Williamsís son William John (1853-1917) was a seafarer in the merchant navy which he joined in 1855. This seems the most plausible explanation of its origin but it would be fascinating to know if its source could it be traced or guessed at or if there is any equivalent?
We know quite a bit about William Japha who was born Wolf Japha in Fraustadt, now Wschowa, Poland, but this is the only material artefact or place of living that has been discovered, so it is most precious to us.

Many thanks
Denis
Byrne, Stapleton, Kennedy, Dougherty, Clishan/Clisham. Easter 1916 Dublin, in Ireland.
Sharp, Houlgrave, McCarrick, Quinn, Dougherty in Liverpool.
Japha in Liverpool and Prussia (Poland)

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Offline Galium

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Re: Japha Conch Shell
« Reply #1 on: Monday 28 November 16 09:30 GMT (UK) »
Sorry I can't help with where it might have come from, but that's a tiger cowrie, not a conch.  They come from the Indian and Pacific oceans, but the Wiki article on tiger cowries mentions that some have been found at Pompeii, so they have been traded out of their native regions for a long time. 

We have one from my mother's family engraved with the Lord's Prayer, which we believe came from Antigua, where her grandmother's parents were missionaries (but we don't know for sure).  We also have one which is a souvenir from Spain.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline tommobecket

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Re: Japha Conch Shell
« Reply #2 on: Friday 16 December 16 08:57 GMT (UK) »
 ... a tiger cowrie ... I had no idea, fascinating. Many thanks Galium for clearing that up. It would be interesting to know how they are made but can't seem to find much on early 19th Century Tiger Cowrie production.

To a moderator - the main motivation for the post was to try and find out about Lil Moore and how it came to be in her keeping; do you think it would be better to post this on the Lancashire Forum?

thank you again Galium.
Byrne, Stapleton, Kennedy, Dougherty, Clishan/Clisham. Easter 1916 Dublin, in Ireland.
Sharp, Houlgrave, McCarrick, Quinn, Dougherty in Liverpool.
Japha in Liverpool and Prussia (Poland)