Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 375

Corsi 375, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 375  
Name and quarry location: Derbyshire 'alabaster', Poole's Cavern 'alabaster', from Poole's Cavern, near Buxton, Derbyshire, England  
Geological description: Speleothem calcite with irregular aggregates of metallic grey galena crystals cementing brecciated Carboniferous Limestone. The limestone contains abundant crinoids, bryozoa and other bioclasts.  
Comments: This specimen was given to Corsi by the 6th Duke of Devonshire following the Duke's visit to see Corsi's collection in 1824. It is highly polished on all sides. Poole's Cavern, also sometimes called Poole's Hole, is a cave system and a popular tourist destination. Ford et al (1993) write that ‘orange "poached egg" stalagmites are a distinctive feature of Poole’s Cavern, Buxton, and may be due to a small admixture of iron derived via lime-burning operations on the hillside above.’ This account of the colour would appear to match this specimen. It is polished on all sides, and curiously, Corsi has attached his own number on the side showing the yellow calcite best.  
References: Ford et al (1993) 35  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; ii. Italian alabasters  
Corsi's text: 103.42 Alabastro di Pool Hole presso Buxton in Inghilterra  

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