Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 386

Corsi 386, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 386  
Name and quarry location: Tartaro di Terni, alabastro di Terni, from Terni, Umbria, 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; they include samples in the Pescetto collection (1870) in Rome, and a tablet in an inlayed table-top brought back from Rome in 1830 and now in the National Trust’s Farnborough Hall in Oxfordshire. Corsi's specimens from Terni appear indistinguishable from the Tivoli specimens; are they indeed from a different locality?  
Further information: Alabaster-travertine.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 2. Tartari  
Corsi's text: 106.10 altro dello stesso luogo [Tartaro di Terni]  

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