Welcome to a selected overview of                                    Massimo Draghetti's cowrie collection


I started to collect shells at the age of eleven when my dad gave me as a present my first shells' book, a compendium of Tucker Abbott on which I learned to recognize and classify the main families and species. At that time, my collection was mostly Mediterranean, gastropods and bivalves picked up from the beach after sea storms. When a friend of family, back from a trip to Africa, brought me one cymbium, I was proud to add my first “large” and “overseas” piece. At the University time, I began to travel abroad by myself and became a good scuba diver. Every year I went to a different tropical Country where I made diving and met friends. In about twenty years I travelled all over the world. My collection was becoming larger and more selective day by day. I came to know Mr. Luigi Raydaudi Massilia, the most referenced Italian malacologist. He was very friendly with me and I met him several times in his Rome’s apartment for great new additions. Last time I saw him was in the Hotel du Rivage in Lutry - Switzerland, where we had breakfast together before going to the shell show. In the meanwhile, a serious accident to my right ear while scuba diving in the Andaman Sea, deprived me of the joy to practice this sport again. In Lutry I also met Philippe Quiquandon and we became good friends. I got from him some of my best cowrie specimens. I attended several times all the most important European shells’ exhibitions (Paris, Antwerp, Ottmarsheim, and so on). In those years, I met many international dealers, some of which became close mates in my shells’ passion: Israel Yeroslaski, Peter Demertzis, Felix Lorenz, to mention only a few of them. They sometimes gave me the honour to come to see my collection at home. I specialized in cowries and had the chance to exploit the first dealings on internet by getting some excellent specimens of size and provenience today impossible or very difficult to obtain. Many further outstanding specimens came from the most important Australian and Hawaiian dealers and divers. Every week, one parcel was arriving from somewhere, with great new shells. After more than 45 years of shells collecting, having accomplished a remarkable treasure, I have forced myself to end my research activity, just because I cannot find anymore something larger or nicer than what I  have already got in my collection. This website is the last proof of my unfinished love for the shells’ world that so many satisfactions and  exciting  relations has given to me during my lifetime's best years.



















Not only cowries . . .