Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 225

Corsi 225, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 225  
Name and quarry location: Astracane di Verona, lumachella di Verona, from Verona, Veneto, Italy  
Geological description: Limestone. Fossiliferous biosparite with abundant recrystallised molluscs, mainly brachiopod (probably terebratulid) and bivalve debris, other bioclasts, and possible limestone intraclasts. It has stylolites and calcite-filled fractures.  
Comments: This 'feminine' variety is a paler colour than the 'masculine' (no.224). It is now generally agreed that Astracane di Verona was not used in ancient times but was brought to Rome in the 17th and 18th centuries. It has a much longer history of use in the area of Verona, being among the stones described by Del Riccio in his 1597 history of stones. It is likely that it comes from Val Pernise, and other places near Grezzana in the Val Pantena. See no.265. There are several specimens of astracane di Verona in Corsi’s collection, many of them showing the combination of yellow and pink colouring that is so common among limestones of the area.  
References: Antonelli (2003); Corsi (1825) 78; Corsi (1845) 117; Gnoli (1988) 203; Jervis (1889) 144; Price (2007) 161  
Further information: Verona.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 3. Lumachellas; i. Ancient lumachellas  
Corsi's text: 78.11 Lumachella antica. Marmor Conchyte. Astracane femina... provenissero dall'Asia, o dall'Africa.... i scarpellini Romani ne assegnano capricciosamente le cave ora all' Arabia, ora all' Egitto, ed ora alla Tebaide  

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