Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 357

Corsi 357, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 357  
Name and quarry location: Alabastro a tartaruga, from Montauto, Castelfiorentino, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy or perhaps Iano di Montaione, Florence, Tuscany, Italy  
Geological description: Very finely banded compact calcite travertine.  
Comments: Montauto, in Tuscany, was one of the main sources of Italian compact travertine in the early 19th century, included in a list of ornamental stones and their values in Rome given by Rees (1819). Modern authorities have recognised Corsi's samples as alabastro a tartaruga (alabastro tartarugato), and have said it comes from Iano, outside Montaione in Tuscany. Stone quarried in ancient times was reused by the scalpellini of Rome, who gave it the name 'tartarugata' for its tortoiseshell-like markings. Quarries at Iano were reopened after the second world war for a short time. Which location was the source of these samples remains somewhat uncertain. Note that the resemblance to Corsi's tartari, nos.377-386 is purely superficial, this does not have the finely fibrous crystals of that stone.  
References: Borghini (1997) 151; Corsi (1845) 133; Dallan (1969) 46, 62-63; Mielsch (1985) 39, taf.2; Price (2007) 52; Rees (1819)  
Further information: Alabaster-travertine.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; ii. Italian alabasters  
Corsi's text: 101.24 Altro come sopra [Alabastro di Montauto sul confine Toscano] come sopra cava  

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