Friday, January 10, 2014

Ammonite:The Curious Snake Stone

Amongst my fossil finds on the reservoir shore this week was the fraction of an ammonite. Only a tiny piece but enough to justify an ammonite print.

I am rather fond of snakes so was dismayed to discover that ammonites were thought to be the remains of snakes, cursed and turned to stone by St Hilda. And then to add insult to injury they were subject to a beheading curse by St Cuthbert. All this to account for these curious curled and apparently headless things found in abundance near Whitby.

My information comes again from the Natural History Museum here.. as does this quote:

“William Camden in the book Britannia (1586) stated that, 'if you break them you find within stony serpents, wreathed up in circles, but eternally without heads'.”

Apparently to make them more saleable. heads were carved into the fossils. This is a current piece from the Whitby Jet Site where master carver Hal Redvers-Jones has added a jet head  to a fossil.. it is rather endearing.


Ammonites are such a beautiful shape. Maybe one day I will find a whole one!


The piece, the lino and design an a proof print.

am 1 bg

The ammonite with overprinted fronds . Lino print 4 x 6 “

I was wondering about adding some type so tried this.


I may think about a series, I am not sure a fossil ABC is feasible but might be interesting.

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