Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 818

Corsi 818, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 818  
Name and quarry location: Granito bigio grafico, from Fontaine du Gènie, Tipaza, Algeria; or just possibly syenite della Balma, from Balma Biallese, Biella, Lombardy, Italy  
Geological description: Medium to fine-grained syenite of predominantly plagioclase feldspar, beige-coloured potash feldspar, black hornblende, and biotite.  
Comments: Nos. 818 and 852 appear to be granito bigio grafico described by both Mielsch (1985) and Borghini (1997) who say that it comes from Tipaza, in Algeria, where there are many examples of its use. A sample is in the Peschetto Collection in Rome labelled 'Granito grafico, porfido grigio micaceo' from Ancient Rome (Mausoleum of Augustus). However others have said that this sample is the Balma syentite (sienite della Balma) which has been quarried in the Val Cervo, near the town of Balma Biallese, in Italy, since the 19th century. Cardu (2004) describes the quarrying of this stone and cites many examples of its use. Because Corsi included it among his ancient stones, the Algerian provenance is the more likely.  
References: Borghini (1997) 218; Cardu et al., in Prikryl (2004) 289-294; Corsi (1845) 210-211, 218-219; Mielsch (1985) 69, taf.23. Other examples: Servizio Geologico d'Italia, Rome, Pescetto Coll.137.  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 16. Granites; i. Antique granite  
Corsi's text: 204.6 Granito antico. Marmor Syenite. Marmo Sienite... [trovata] presso la città di Siene sul confine fra Egitto, e l'Etiopia... Pyrrhopoecilon... Psaronion...Aethiopicum perchè... era Siene sul confine dell' Etiopia.  

Full entry in English

Enter some search terms
Show results as:

search tips

Searches the database for all stone records containing the words you enter. To search for a text string, put it between quotation marks. To search for stone records that don't contain a word, put a minus sign in front of it.

For example, entering: granite "coarse-grained" -Egypt will find all the coarse-grained granites that do not come from Egypt.

Terms of three characters or less have not been indexed.