Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 604

Corsi 604, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 604  
Name and quarry location: almost certainly verde di Prato, from Prato, Florence, Tuscany, Italy  
Geological description: Serpentinised coarse peridotite with very dark olivine domains. Note the reticulated distribution of Fe/Cr oxides, and presence of some pale acicular inclusions.  
Comments: This is almost certainly verde di Prato. 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: 150.29 Nefrite dell'Elba  

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