BSCC Trophies
by Tom Walker

The Club awards several trophies at its annual Shell Shows, and usually the names of the winners are published in the following issue of Pallidula. However, no comprehensive list of winners seems to have been kept, and some years the names have been omitted from Pallidula. I thought it time that this was rectified, and the list below gives all the award winners since each trophy was first awarded. Members may also like to know why we have these awards, and why they are so named.

The first Shell Show was held in May 1976, but competitive entries were not introduced until the following year. It seems that in the early years of the Club there was an additional award, the Du Pont Trophy, for the Outstanding Exhibit. There are only two references to this trophy in all the issues of the Club Newsletter or Pallidula: Ken Wye won it in 1977 for “Exhibit 38 in Class 10: Visual Beauty - Shape” and it was again to be awarded in 1985 (in addition to the COA Plaque). Any further information about the award and its winners would be welcomed.

Conchologists of America Plaque

The COA is the premier shell organisation in America, with well over 1000 members worldwide, the majority living in the US. The BSCC is a club member, and, to my knowledge, there are nine UK individual members.

The COA strongly supports the educational and research aspects of conchology, and each year makes many grants to further this aim; in 2004 they awarded $14,583 to 11 workers, most of whom are students, but some professionals also receive grants.

They are very active in supporting local shell clubs throughout the world, and show their support by donating a Plaque to member clubs for “a single scientific (vs. artistic) exhibit which best advances the interest in shells and shell collecting” (wording taken directly from their guidelines.) It may only be given to a first prize winner in any class, and cannot be awarded to a dealer unless the exhibit consists entirely of self-collected shells, nor to any professional malacologists.

The BSCC is extremely grateful to the COA for donating this Plaque every year since 1979. To date it has been won by 16 different Club members, of whom six have won it more than once. The clear ‘winner’ is Stanley Francis who has been received this award no fewer than five times.

The Peter Oliver Cup

Peter Oliver was born in 1918 and died in 1984, following which the BSCC Committee decided to award a Cup in his memory. His interest in shells began in 1960 when he was working as public relations officer for the Shell Oil Company in Singapore and Malaya, being a founder member of the local malacological society. He returned to England in 1966. He accumulated an extensive collection of marine gastropods, concentrating mainly on Cypraeidae, Volutidae and Conidae. He was a Fellow of the Linnaean and Zoological Societies of London, and an active member of the Conchological Society. He joined the British Shell Collectors’ Club early in 1973, only a few months after it was formed, and was its second President, from 1977 to 1979. He was the author of The Hamlyn Guide to Shells on the World; first published in 1975 it remained in print for many years and was translated into numerous different languages.

The Peter Oliver Cup was first awarded in 1985 for “The Best Educational Exhibit” at the annual Shell Show and until 2004 was the only award which has the winner’s name engraved on it. The Cup has been won by 13 different members, only two of whom have won it more than once; Kevin Brown is obviously our leading educationalist, having his name recorded five times on the Cup plinth.

The Walter Karo Trophy

Walter was a very regular exhibitor at BSCC Shell Shows, and was noted for the outstanding quality of the shells he showed – always the best that it was possible to obtain; I recall a stunning exhibit of Pleurotomariidae soon after I joined the Club. It is probable that his interest in shells was stimulated by his close business association with Mr Mayer, the founder of the Eaton’s Seashells shop. Following Walter’s death in 1990 his family offered his collection to the Natural History Museum in London, and this now forms the majority of the molluscan exhibition in the Museum – well worth a visit for those who haven’t seen it.

In 1991 the Club Committee decided that “an award in memory of the late Walter Karo will be given for a specimen of outstanding beauty” – a plaque with Cymbiola aulica. Perhaps one attraction of this award is that it is not possible to plan an exhibit with this Trophy in mind – it really only depends on the opinion of the judges on the day. However, that does not make its winning any the less attractive, there having been 9 different winners over the 14 years since this Trophy was first awarded.

The John Fisher Trophy

In 2004 Club member John Fisher was one of the judges for the shell exhibition, and found judging difficult in the Junior Class. He felt that encouragement was needed to persuade junior members to exhibit, and he donated a cup to the Club. This is to be awarded to the best exhibit in the Junior Classes, taking into account whether the entry is in the “age 12 and over” or “age 11 and under” class.

The Scotia Shield

This new Shield was donated to the Club by member Brian Hammond, who had been given the shield by a friend; Brian arranged for this to be made into an appropriate award and asked the committee to decide where it should be awarded. The committee felt that, as we are the British Shell Collectors’ Club, there should be an award to recognise British shells. They agreed that this Shield should go to the exhibit or shell “Which best promotes the interests of British Conchology”. It was named the “Scotia Shield” to recognise its origin from Scotland.

Award winners since 1979


CONCHOLOGISTS OF AMERICA TROPHY

For the exhibit “Which best advances the interest of Shells and Shell Collecting”

PETER OLIVER CUP

For “The Best Educational Exhibit”

WALTER KARO TROPHY

For “A Specimen of Outstanding Beauty”

JOHN FISHER TROPHY

For “The best exhibit in either Junior Category”

SCOTIA SHIELD

For the exhibit “Which best promotes the interests of British Conchology”

1979

Peter Sheasby

Spiral of Murex




1980

Fred Pinn

Gastropods of Pondicherry, South India




1981

Geoff Cox

Bivalves - Veneridae




1982

Walter Karo

Volutes




1983

Alex Arthur

Trochidae in the Mediterranean Sea




1984

Jenny Hogenard

Shells from Obhor Creek, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia




1985

John Llewellyn-Jones

Mother-of-pearl

Kevin Brown

“Why is the shell that funny shape?”



1986 Stanley Francis (joint)
Chlamys operularis

Kevin Brown (joint)

Penny plain two pence coloured

Colin Narbeth

Chinese money cowries



1987

Tom Walker

Jamaican shells

Kevin Brown

“An open or shut case”



1988

Stanley Francis

European Pectinidae

Koen Fraussen

Freshwater mussels



1989

Alan Seccombe

Worldwide Cassidae

Geoff Cox

British marine shells



1990

Andy Wakefield

Worldwide Marginellidae

Kevin Brown

Teredo: the most expensive shell in the world”



1991

Noel Gregory

Chicoreus

Kevin Brown

“Gmelin 1791”

Tom Pain

Skirocus macrum (ammonite)


1992

Stanley Francis

Victims of the Florida Crab Traps

Mike Dixon

Guide to Naticidae

Geoff Cox

Harpa costata


1993

Stanley Francis

Mediterranean Muricidae

Kevin Brown

Worldwide Neritidae

Geoff Cox

Ericusa sowerbyi


1994

Dick Plester

Mitrinae

Stanley Francis

The Mollusca – forerunners of our

Modern Civilisation

Geoff Cox

Buccinum undatum


1995

Peter Sheasby

“Murex in the Pink – or is it in the Orange?”

Peter Sheasby

Molluscs and egg cases

Fred Pinn

Chicoreus spectrum


1996

Dick Plester

Costellariidae

Fred Pinn

The Sacred Chank of India

Geoff Cox

Cassis tuberosa


1997

Stanley Francis

Colourful British Marine Shells

Kevin Brown

Astrea heliotropum

Tom Walker

Cassis madagascariensis


1998

Tom Walker

Shells Alive

Geoff Cox

The Algorithmic Beauty of Shells

John Whicher

Vasum horridum


1999

Kevin Brown

Millennium musing on Molluscs

Terry Wimbleton

Helix aspersa

Dominic Rawlinson-Plant

Cypraea tessellata


2000

Dick Plester

Genus Haliotis

Terry Wimbleton

British marine molluscs

Dominic Rawlinson-Plant

Harpa goodwini


2001

John Llewellyn-Jones

Mother of pearl buttons

Deborah Hicklin

Shells from Brittany

Selina Wilkins

Smaragdia viridis


2002

Karen Hicklin

Helcion pellucida

Karen Hicklin

Helcion pellucida

Tom Walker

Forcartia buehleri


2003

Tom Walker

African shells with stamps

Selina Wilkins

Mya arenaria

Carl & Craig Ruscoe

Aporrhais pesgallinae


2004

Mike Dixon

Australian Top Shells

Sharon Crichton

Studland Bay Shells

Mike Dixon

Clanculus undatus occidus

Christopher Wilkins

Shell train

2005

Sharon Crichton

British bivalves

Sharon Crichton

British bivalves

Peter Siggers

Lyncina broderipii

Amy Crichton

Cassis cornuta

John Llewellyn-Jones

Where to find that shell
2006

Brian Hammond

Shells of Jura

Peter Siggers

Lambis chiragra chiragra

Peter Siggers

Harpa costata
(no entries)

Graham Saunders

Adventures in taxonomy
2007

Andy Wakefield

Clytospira

Sharon Crichton

British gastropods

Dick Plester

Spondylus regius f. cumingi

Christopher Wilkins

Shell house

Sharon Crichton

British gastropods
2008

Koen Fraussen

Pallolium tigerinum

Selina Wilkins

Fusinus

Adam Ward

Hexaplex chicoreus

Theo Tamblyn

Molluscs of Zakynthos

John Whicher

Ammonites from the Frodingham Ironstone
2009

Ken Wye

White shell chequerboard

John Llewellyn-Jones

Nucella lapillus

Sophie Ward

Neotrigonia bednalli

Theo Tamblyn

Molluscs of the Red Crag

John Llewellyn-Jones

Nucella lapillus
2010

Selina Wilkins

Shell flowers

Koen Fraussen

Neobuccinum eatoni

Carl and Craig Ruscoe

Sinistral Trichia hispida

Theo Tamblyn

Unionid mussels

Mick Davies

British Buccinidae
2011

Not awarded

Carl and Craig Ruscoe

Wonderful shells of the Philippines

Carl and Craig Ruscoe

Xenophora granulosa

Theo Tamblyn

Bivalves of the London Clay

Dave McCay

Volutopsius norwegicus
2012

Tom Walker

Pallidula

Tom Walker

Purple Dye from Nucella lapillus

Graham Saunders

Chlamys nivea

Theo Tamblyn

Gigantism in the Swan Mussel

Carl and Craig Ruscoe

British Venerupis (Carpet Shells)





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