Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 634

Corsi 634, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

side view of stone 634

side view of stone 634, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 634  
Name and quarry location: Pietra del Vesuvio, from Mt. Vesuvius, Naples, Campania, Italy  
Geological description: Silicate-rich skarn with fan aggregates of fibrous green amphibole, and abundant muscovite. It has minor grossular garnet, spinel, and calcite, the latter possibly mixed with dolomite. Pyrite was also present in veins, and its oxidation has resulted in some cracking of the specimen.  
Comments: Blocks of skarn ejected from Vesuvius are found embedded in tuffs cut by ravines on the flanks of Monte Somma and Mount Vesuvius. Some have cavities containing well-formed crystals, sometimes of rare minerals. Others are more cohesive and better suited to taking a polish, although these rocks have never been widely used for decorative purposes. Small slabs of the various stones from Vesuvius were sold to 'grand tourists'. For example, when Jane and Mary Parminter returned to England in the 18th century, they had their souvenirs inlaid in a table-top, now to be seen at A La Ronde, a National Trust Property in Devon, England.  
References: Price (2007) 214  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 8. Volcanic stones; i. Stones from Vesuvius  
Corsi's text: 154.14 Pietre del Vesuvio  

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