Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 380

Corsi 380, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 380  
Name and quarry location: Tartaro di Tivoli, alabastro di Tivoli, from Tivoli, Lazio, Italy  
Geological description: Compact banded travertine composed of fibrous to very finely acicular calcite crystals, perhaps originally aragonite.  
Comments: The name 'tartaro' is probably derived from the resemblance of some calcareous precipitates to the encrustrations of potassium bitartrate (‘tartar’) deposited in wine casks during fermentation. It has also been suggested that Corsi’s samples are named after Lago di Tartaro, a location close to Tivoli. Other examples of this stone are uncommon. A tablet is in an inlayed table-top brought back from Rome in 1830 and now in the National Trust’s Farnborough Hall in Oxfordshire. In Corsi's tabletop of modern Italian marbles in the Natural History Museum, London, Corsi refers to this stone as alabastro di Tivoli.  
References: Corsi (1825) 104-106; Price (2007) 59. Other examples: NHM London Corsi tabletop (modern) 14g.  
Further information: Alabaster-travertine.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 2. Tartari  
Corsi's text: 105.4 altro dello stesso luogo [Tartaro di Tivoli]  

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