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A fossilised poterion potera (Neptune’s Cup sponge).
Museum number: S40
Incongruously placed amongst the Roman fragments which belonged to Soane’s early teacher Henry Holland is the curious natural form of a Neptune’s cup sponge, lying horizontally on the shelf across the window of the Study. Soane was intrigued by its form but did not know what it was – he commented in his 1835 Description of this house that A large fungus from the rocks of the island of Sumatra …will be appreciated by the lovers of natural history.
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