Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 206

Corsi 206, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

edge view of stone 206

edge view of stone 206, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 206  
Name and quarry location: Diaspro tenero di Sicilia, from Sicily, Italy  
Geological description: Limestone; fossiliferous burrowed micrite/microsparite with red burrow infilling, perhaps part of a hard ground. Note the calcite-filled fractures and solution seams.  
Comments: This is an example of diaspro tenero di Sicilia, the Sicilian 'soft jasper'. The scarlet, beige and olive green colouring seen at one end of the stone is very typical. Similar stone is today traded under the name breccia pontifica. A fine column of this stone can be seen in the University of Oxford Examination Schools which were designed and built by Thomas Jackson between 1876 and 1881. Mary Porter in 1905 confirmed this to be diaspro tenero di Sicilia.  
References: Corsi (1845) 155-156; Dubarry de Lassale (2005) 290; Evangelista (1998); Montana (1998) 67-68; Porter (c.1905); Price (2007) 150-151  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 12. Veined marbles of Italy  
Corsi's text: 72.28 Breccia di Canneto in Toscana  

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