Scallop Shell

Emblem of St. James of Compostella, adopted, says Erasmus, because the shore of the adjacent sea abounds in them. Pilgrims used them for cup, spoon, and dish; hence the punning crest of the Disington family is a scallop shell. On returning home, the pilgrim placed his scallop shell in his hat to command admiration, and adopted it in his coat-armous. (Danish, schelp, a shell; French, escalope.)

“I will give thee a palmer's staff of iyory and a scallop-shell of beaten gold.” —The Old Wives' Tale. (1595.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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