Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 72

Corsi 72, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 72  
Name and quarry location: Ashford black marble, Derbyshire black marble, from Arrock mine or from quarries on Sheldon Moor, near Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire, England  
Geological description: Bituminous fine-grained limestone of Carboniferous age.  
Comments: According to Tomlinson (1996) all of the Ashford black marble used before 1832 came from the Arrock mine or from Sheldon Moor, localities near Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire. This sample was among the Derbyshire stones given to Corsi by the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Ashford black marble is best known today for its use in the inlaid decorative stone industries of Derbyshire and Devon during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, similar to that of the Florentine pietre dure workshops. The stone is no longer quarried. Ashford black marble is dark brown when quarried and polishes to a jet black finish, but Corsi's specimen shows how this stone is prone to fade on prolonged exposure to light.  
References: Price (2007) 77; Tomlinson (1996) 18; Watson (1916)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 1. Monochrome marbles; Species 6. Black marbles  
Corsi's text: 40.2 Nero di Ashford  

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