Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 16

Corsi 16, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 16  
Name and quarry location: Lithographic limestone, pietra litografica, from the southern Franconian Alb (probably quarries at Solnhofen or Kelheim), Bavaria, Germany  
Geological description: Upper Jurassic limestone from the Solnhofen Platternkalk Formation. A fossiliferous biomicrite with scattered acicular bioclasts (probably sponge spicules).  
Comments: This is a lithographic limestone from the southern Franconian Alb; ‘Monaco di Baviera’ (Munich in Bavaria) is the nearest major city. The fissile ‘plattenkalk’ limestone was obtained from quarries between Langenaltheim to the west and Kelheim to the east. Lithography was invented in 1796, and the best lithographic limestone, according to Barthel (1990), came from the Solnhofen area. The stone was already used for building purposes in ancient Roman times, and by the Byzantine era it was being exported, for example to Istanbul for the mosaic flooring in Haghia Sophia.  
References: Barthel (1990) 1-37; Pennell (1915)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 1. Monochrome marbles; Species 2. Palombinos  
Corsi's text: 27.5 ...pietra litografica di Monaco di Baviera  

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