Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 929

Corsi 929, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 929  
Name and quarry location: Alabastro a pecorella, from Aïn Tekbalet district, Oran, Algeria.  
Geological description: Compact banded travertine composed of coarse-grained calcite, some bands are rich in iron oxides, dendritic growth most evident on the sides of the sample.  
Comments: Alabastro a pecorella means little sheep alabaster, but it is the richly coloured bushy growths of iron and manganese oxides that are more distinctive. It was exported to Rome from about the 2nd century AD onwards and is often found used and recycled in architecture and sculpture. It is not longer quarried today. This sample is less recrystallised than most other samples of Alabastro a pecorella in Corsi’s collection.  
References: Borghini (1997) 149-150; Chafetz (1998); Corsi (1845) 134-135; Lazzarini (2002c) 244-245; Merrill (1903) 281-284; Mielsch (1985) 39, taf.3; Price (2007) 54-55; Watson (1916) 355-359  
Further information: Alabaster.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; i. Antique alabaster  
Corsi's text: 98.47/ S15.7 Alabastro antico. Marmor Alabastrum. Alabastro sardonica  

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