Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 85

Corsi 85, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 85  
Name and quarry location: Rosso Montecitorio, rosso Kumeta, from Monte Kumeta, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy  
Geological description: Pink pelagic limestone from the Rosso Ammonitico Formation (Triassic-Jurassic); a hardground with black manganese-rich crusts, a spar-infilled ammonoid, and spar-filled fractures.  
Comments: A small slab of this stone in the collections of the National Museums of Scotland, probably purchased in Italy (1725-1727) by the Second Earl of Hopetoun, is labelled on the reverse 'Porta Santa'. This strongly suggests that Corsi was adhering to the name given it by the scalpellini of Rome. The stone is almost certainly that from Monte Kumeta in Sicily. It is now better known as rosso Montecitorio because it was used extensively in the Palazzo Montecitorio, the seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. It is often seen in the palaces and churches of Sicily, and is still being quarried. Di Stephano & Mindszenty (2000) describe the Monte Kumeta deposit, noting that similar hardgrounds have been recognised at Montagna Grande and Rocca Busambra in Sicily, and are described by Jenkyns (1986?) occurring abundantly in early Jurassic rocks of the Alpine-Mediterranean area.  
References: Corsi (1825) 43; Di Stefano (2000); Montana (1998) 55-56; Price (2007) 117. Other examples: National Museums of Scotland no.193/38/39; OUMNH DR1678 (a modern example).  
Further information: Portasanta.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 1. Porta Santa marble  
Corsi's text: 43.9 Marmo Porta Santa. Marmor Jasense. La cava era nell' Isola di Jaso dell' Arcipelago sulle coste della Caria nell' Asia minore, per cui da molti scrittori si è anche chiamato marmo Cario... esso corrisponda all'antico marmo di Jaso.  

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