Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 131

Corsi 131, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 131  
Name and quarry location: most probably giallo e nero di Carrara, from Carrara, Massa e Carrara, Tuscany, Italy  
Geological description: Black weakly metamorphosed fine-grained limestone with at least two generations of veining the first of white calcite and the second of yellow calcite coloured by goethite (iron hydroxide).  
Comments: This stone is almost certainly a weakly metamorphosed Triassic/early Jurassic limestone from Carrara. Its use for the mask on the tomb of Pope Paul III before the opening of the portoro quarries in the late 16th century, the reference by Jervis (1862) to a black and yellow marble from Carrara; the marked similarity with an image of that stone published by Wirsing, and the opinion of the great marble expert William Brindley (Porter c.1905), all support this provenance.  
References: Corsi (1845) 112; Gnoli (1988) 180; Jervis (1862) 5; Porter (c.1905) 34; Price (2007) 87; Wirsing (1775)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 7. Yellow and black marbles  
Corsi's text: 56.1 Giallo e nero antico, ne assegna la cava nell'isola di Rodi... e lo chiama marmo Rodio  

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