Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 94

Corsi 94, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 94  
Name and quarry location: Cipollino mandolato, most probably rosé vif des Pyrénées, from the area west of Esplas-de-Sérou, Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, France  
Geological description: Weakly metamorphosed Lower Devonian nodular limestone, somewhat sheared and largely recrystallised; with chlorite coating the nodules.  
Comments: This is one of the Devonian limestones from the French Pyrenees known collectively as cipollino mandolato. Some of the quarries, for example in the Campan valley and Pont de la Taule, were opened in ancient times and the stone exported to Rome and other places in the empire. The 17th to 19th centuries saw extensive working of the stone, for example to decorate Versailles and other French royal palaces. Working continued sporadically until the late 20th century. This variety is almost certainly rosé vif de Pyrénées. It was quarried at Pont de la Taule, Espiougue, and other locations in the vicinity of Esplas-de-Sérou in Ariège.  
References: Antonelli (1999); Corsi (1845) 97-99; Rogers (2008) 54-55. Other examples: in the Musée du Marbre, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France. Bagnere  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 2. Cipollino  
Corsi's text: 46.6 Marmo Cipollino. Marmor Carystium. Nel monte Oco vicino alla città di Caristo v'era la cava d'un marmo chiamato Caristio... marmo Euboico poichè Caristo è nell' isola Eubea oggi Negroponte.  

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