In one sense, all shells found on a tideline are old; they are the remaining evidence of a mollusk that is no longer there. However, this particular slipper shell seems ancient. While the creature was, no doubt, beautiful in life, the lace-like perforations give it a delicate fragility that belies the tumbling it took in the waves after its owner had died.
I loved noticing this particular shell. It was only about an inch in length, but it seemed to hold a weight of hidden history – its lace holding stories of a past long gone.