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A large spiral-shelled marine gastropod of the family Buccinidae. Whelk is also an archaic name for a red dye obtained from these mollusks. The dye is also called Tyrian purple.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Tyrian purple; red whelk; Nucella lapillus minchas (Esp.); Purpura patula caracolillo (Esp.); buccin (Fr.);

Additional Images

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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