Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 86

Corsi 86, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 86  
Name and quarry location: Cipollino mandolato, griotte, from Haute Pyrénées, France; and probably from the Campan valley.  
Geological description: Lower Devonian tectonised and sheared red nodular limestone, with stylolites and white calcite-filled veins.  
Comments: Perhaps, like no.85, this stone was known to the scalpellini of Rome as Porta Santa. It is in fact a typical nodular limestone from the French Pyrenees, intermediate in appearance between griotte and Campan rosé. In Italy, it is known as cipollino mandolato. The Devonian nodular marbles of the Campan valley, Pont de la Taulé, and other locations in the area were quarried from the 1st century AD through to medieval times. Quarrying in the Campan valley recommenced in the 17th century and the various stones were extensively used in the Palace of Versailles. Stone continued to be extracted, sometimes sporadically, until the end of the 20th century.  
References: Antonelli (1999); Antonelli (2002a); Borghini (1997) 204-205; Corsi (1845) 97; Dubarry de Lassale (2000) 94-95, 112-113; Dubarry de Lassale (2005); Merrill (1903) 332; Perrier (1996); Peybernès (2004); Price (2007) 124, 134-135; Watson (1916) 97-98, 130-131, 136, 223-224  
Further information: Portasanta.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 1. Porta Santa marble  
Corsi's text: 43.10 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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