Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 580

Corsi 580, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 580  
Name and quarry location: Verde di Prato, from Prato, Florence, Tuscany, Italy  
Geological description: Serpentinised peridotite with coarse original texture, and fine detail in the serpentinisation (low temperature alteration) preserved. Vein is quartz.  
Comments: This appears to be typical verde di Prato. It is highly unlikely that rocks so similar had come from Carrara. Does Corsi mean another from Carrara, or simply another common serpentine? Verde di Prato was extensively used in the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and the San Giovanni Baptistry in Florence, as well as the Cathedral of San Stefano in Prato itself. Although the stone had been quarried extensively from medieval times through to the 16th century, at the time Corsi was writing, little stone was being extracted. Major working recommenced around 1860 to supply stone for repair work and continued until the mid 20th century.  
References: Bastogi (2004); Bonney (1879); Giusti (n.d.); Jervis (1889) 309-310; Price (2007) 178; Watson (1916) 429-430  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 7. Serpentines; ii. Common serpentines  
Corsi's text: 147.5 Altra varietà [Nefrite di Carrara]  

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