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image S40

A fossilised poterion potera (Neptune’s Cup sponge).

Museum number: S40

Curatorial note

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.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk