Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 928

Corsi 928, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 928  
Name and quarry location: Alabastro a tartaruga, from Montauto, Castelfiorentino, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy  
Geological description: Compact travertine composed of fine acicular calcite crystals.  
Comments: Montauto, in Tuscany, was one of the main sources of Italian compact travertine in the early 19th century, included in a list of ornamental stones and their values in Rome given by Rees (1819). Modern authorities have recognised Corsi's samples as alabastro a tartaruga (alabastro tartarugato) , and have said it comes from Iano, outside Montaione in Tuscany. Stone quarried in ancient times was reused by the scalpellini of Rome, who gave it the name 'tartarugata' for its tortoiseshell-like markings. Quarries at Iano were reopened after the second world war for a short time. This specimen particularly resembles samples from Montauto in the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien.  
References: Borghini (1997) 151; Corsi (1845) 133; Dallan (1969) 46, 62-63; Mielsch (1985) 39, taf.2; Price (2007) 52; Rees (1819). Other examples: Naturhistorisches Museum Wien T9-2-6 D7088 & Bd 8250 (two adjoining specimens!), Kalksinter from Montanto (sic).  
Further information: Alabaster-travertine.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; i. Antique alabaster  
Corsi's text: 98.46/ S15.6 Alabastro antico. Marmor Alabastrum. Alabastro a tartaruca  

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