Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 939

Corsi 939, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 939  
Name and quarry location: Alabastro di S. Felicita, from Santa Felicita, Capo Circeo, Latina, Lazio, Italy  
Geological description: A very coarse-grained compact banded calcite travertine, of a pale golden yellow colour.  
Comments: Corsi refers to this locality as S. Felice here, but correctly as S. Felicita for no. 367. Alabastro di S. Felicita is cited as 'di S. Felicita o sia monte Circello' in a list of ornamental stones and their values in Rome given by Rees (1819). Capo Santo Felicita or Monte Circello are alternative names for the flat swampy plain at the tip of Capo Circeo in G.F. Ameti’s 1693 map of the Pontine marshes. Giambattista Brocchi, in his 1816 Viaggio nel Lazio: la tuscia e l'agro pontino, gives an account of the deposits of alabastro found there, noting they formed extensive veins and cavity fills. He considered the quarries to be not particularly ancient. He also noted that the colour of the stone was white or like honey, when it is called cotognino, a description that accords with all of Corsi’s specimens believed to be from Circeo.  
References: Ameti (1693); Brocchi (1816); Pieri (c.1958) tav.X; Rees (1819)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; ii. Italian alabasters  
Corsi's text: 103.45/ S17.2 Alabastro di S.Felice. Trovasi presso S. Felice nel Circeo  

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