In the 18th century some fourteen cabinets of natural history, chiefly consisting of shells, were known in the towns of Vlissingen and Middelburg (province of Zeeland, Netherlands). The owners were usually doctors, merchants or magistrates. The sale catalogues of eight of these collections are still available in various libraries and have been critically examined. Obviously most of the species were derived from the then Dutch overseas territories; the names of the shells followed Rumphius and Valentijn. Towards the closing of the 18th century prices became progressively lower, perhaps due to the unsettled political conditions, but probably also because of a general decline of interest in shell collecting.