Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 187

Corsi 187, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 187  
Name and quarry location: Cottanello, from Cottanello, Rieti, Lazio, Italy  
Geological description: Cretaceous-Eocene pelagic limestone. A brecciated biomicrite with abundant planktonic forams and calcispheres. Calcite-filled fractures and voids are cut by late stage red clay-filled stylolites.  
Comments: Borghini (1997) says the ancient 'cottanello' is similar in colour and structure to the marble obtained from the quarries at Cottanello in Sabina at the end of the 16th century, hence the name. Hull (1872) writes 'The red marble of the Roman States ('cottanello') is obtained from Cesi, near Terni, and is considered by Sir R. Murchison to belong to the Oxfordian stage as it contains Ammonites biplex etc.' This is one of the stones that was especially quarried for the decoration of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican when it was built in the 16th century.  
References: Borghini (1997) 208; Bruno (2002d) 285; Corsi (1845) 112-113; Gnoli (1988) 186; Hull (1872) 132; Mielsch (1985) 58, taf.16; Price (2007) 122; Tozzi (2000)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 12. Veined marbles of Italy  
Corsi's text: 69.9 Marmo di Cottanello in Sabina  

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