The Sourcebook of Decorative Stone

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-08-17
  • Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
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Authoritative text and color photographs provide reliable identification of more than 300 types of decorative stone, from the most commonly encountered to the exquisitely rare. Describes decorative stone both ancient and modern, and used variously for architecture, sculpture and ornamentation. Features sharp color photographs of more than 300 types of cut and polished stones selected from renowned collections around the world, including the historic Corsi Collection.

Author Biography

Monica Price is a geologist and science historian on the curatorial staff of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. She has contributed to reference works and journals, and recently co-authored Pocket Nature: Rocks and Minerals.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 8
All about decorative stonesp. 10
Inspirational stonep. 11
A very ancient historyp. 14
Taking a global viewp. 18
A jungle of namesp. 20
Out of the groundp. 22
The evolving Earthp. 26
Minerals-the basic building blocksp. 28
Igneous rocksp. 32
Sedimentary rocksp. 34
Fossilsp. 36
Metamorphic rocksp. 38
What makes a good decorative stone?p. 40
Checklist for identifying decorative stonesp. 41
The stonesp. 42
Alabasters and travertinesp. 45
Alabastro di Volterrap. 46
English alabasterp. 47
Egyptian alabasterp. 48
Alabastro a giaccionep. 50
Pakistan onyx marblep. 50
Mexican onyx marblep. 51
Yava onyxp. 51
Alabastro a tartarugap. 52
Alabastro di Buscap. 52
Alabastro di Palombarap. 53
Gibraltar stonep. 53
Alabastro a pecorellap. 54
Alabastro fioritop. 56
Travertino di Civitavecchiap. 57
Persian travertinep. 57
Travertino di Tivolip. 58
Tartaro di Tivolip. 59
Travertine orop. 60
Other alabasters and travertinesp. 60
White marblesp. 61
Pentelic marblep. 62
Parian marblep. 63
Thasian marblep. 63
White marbles of Tuscanyp. 64
Identifying white marble - filling in the puzzlep. 66
Alabama white marblep. 68
Danby marblep. 68
Colorado Yulep. 69
White Makranap. 70
Other white marblesp. 70
Grey and black marbles and limestonesp. 71
Bardigliop. 72
Greco scrittop. 73
Ashburton marblep. 73
Cherokee, solar greyp. 74
Proconnesian marblep. 74
Cipollino nerop. 75
Bigio anticop. 75
Nero antico, bigio moratop. 76
Ashford black marblep. 77
Irish black marblep. 77
Belgian black marblep. 78
Champlain blackp. 80
Negro Marquinap. 80
Imperial black marblep. 81
Marmo Portoferraiop. 81
Grand antique, petit antiquep. 82
Simulating stone - faux marble and scagliolap. 84
Portorop. 86
Giallo e nero di Carrarap. 87
Noir St Laurentp. 87
King goldp. 88
Other grey and black marbles and limestonesp. 88
Yellow and brown marbles and limestonesp. 89
Giallo anticp. 90
Giallo di Sienap. 92
Breccia doratap. 93
Giallo di Veronap. 94
Breccia nuvolatap. 95
Crema Valenciap. 95
Giallo tigratop. 96
Breccia corallina giallastrap. 96
Vratzap. 97
Jerusalem stonep. 97
Crema marfilp. 98
Palombino anticop. 98
Alberesep. 99
Cotham marblep. 99
Landscapes in stonep. 100
Pietra paesinap. 102
Teakwoodp. 104
Other yellow and brown marbles and limestonesp. 104
Pink marbles and limestonesp. 105
Marmo del Duomop. 106
Rosa Portogallop. 106
Etowah marblep. 107
Tennessee pink marblep. 107
Stone in a New Worldp. 108
Norwegian rosep. 110
Cork red marblep. 110
Breccia corallinap. 111
Broccatellonep. 111
Cottanellop. 112
Marmo carnagionep. 112
Breccia degli Appenninip. 113
Rose de Numidiep. 113
Nembro rosatop. 114
Rosa perlinop. 114
Rosso Veronap. 115
Breccia pernicep. 116
Encarnadop. 116
Adneter marmorp. 117
Rossc Montecitoriop. 117
Rojo Alicantep. 118
Other pink marbles and limestonesp. 118
Red and violet marbles and limestonesp. 119
Cipollino rosso, rosso brecciatop. 120
Rosso anticop. 122
Duke's redp. 124
Griottep. 124
Rouge Languedoc, incarnatp. 125
Breche sanguinep. 126
Breccia rossa Appenninicap. 126
Belgian red marblesp. 127
Breccia pavonazzap. 127
Fior di pescop. 128
Breccia di Settebasi, semesantop. 129
Marmo pavonazzettop. 130
Breccia bruna del Testacciop. 130
Breccia di Seravezzap. 131
Fior di pesco Apuanop. 132
Other red and violet marbles and limestonesp. 132
Multicolored marbles and limestonesp. 133
Cipollino mandolato, Campanp. 134
Africanop. 136
Breche Benoup. 138
Breccia aurorap. 138
Sarrancolinp. 139
Portasantap. 140
In search of ancient quarriesp. 142
Breccia di Aleppop. 144
Breche Nouvellep. 144
Breche d'Aletp. 145
Breche Medousp. 145
Sabalgarh marblep. 146
Breccia frutticolosap. 146
Breccia della Villa Casalip. 147
Occhio di pernicep. 147
Breccia traccagninap. 148
Breccia capitolinap. 149
Brecha da Arrabidap. 149
Diaspro tenero di Siciliap. 150
Breccia Dalmazio, rozalitp. 152
Other multicolored marbles and limestonesp. 152
Lumachellas and other fossiliferous limestonesp. 153
Lumachella nerap. 154
Vytina blackp. 154
Occhio di pavone biancop. 155
Kilkenny fossil marblep. 155
Morocco fossil blackp. 156
Morocco fossil brownp. 156
Lumachella d'Egittop. 157
Lumachella d'Abruzzop. 157
Pakistan fossil stonep. 158
Lumachellone anticop. 158
Sussex marblep. 159
Purbeck marblep. 159
Astracane doratop. 160
Jaisalmer marblep. 160
Astracane di Veronap. 161
Occhio di pavonep. 162
Lumachella roseap. 163
Austrian fire marblep. 163
Tennessee cedarp. 164
Spanish broccatellop. 164
Rosone di Trapanip. 166
Rasoticap. 166
Jura marblep. 167
Lumachella di San Vitalep. 168
Chiampop. 169
Botticinop. 169
Derbyshire fossil limestonep. 170
Frosterley marblep. 171
Madrepore marblep. 171
Stellariap. 172
Other lumachellas and fossiliferous limestonesp. 172
Green marbles, "ophicalcites" and serpentinitesp. 173
Cipollino verdep. 174
Cipollino Apuanop. 176
Connemara marble, Irish greenp. 176
Verde ranocchiap. 177
Verde Imprunetap. 177
Verde di Pratop. 178
Rosso Levantop. 179
Breccia Quintilinap. 179
Cornish serpentinep. 180
Mona marblep. 180
Tinos greenp. 181
Vermont verde antiquep. 181
Souvenirs in stonep. 182
Verde Genovap. 184
Vert Maurinp. 184
Val d'Aosta marblesp. 185
Verde anticop. 186
Serpentines from Indiap. 188
Other green marbles, "ophicalcites" and serpentinitesp. 188
Other metamorphic rocksp. 189
Cumbrian slatep. 190
Bekhen-stonep. 191
Pietra Braschiap. 191
Russian aventurinep. 192
Indian aventurinep. 193
Azul Macaubasp. 193
Breccia verde d'Egittop. 194
Breccia verde di Spartap. 195
Verde marinacep. 195
Smaragdite di Corsicap. 196
Gabbro eufotidep. 196
Kashmir whitep. 197
Kinawap. 197
Stone in the streetp. 198
Verde tropicalep. 200
Other metamorphic rocksp. 200
"Porphyries" and volcanic rocksp. 201
Imperial porphyryp. 202
Porfido Trentinop. 204
Elvanp. 204
Swedish porphyryp. 205
Porfido verde anticop. 206
Cosmati pavementsp. 208
Porfido serpentino nerop. 210
Granito bigiop. 210
Peperinop. 212
Lava di Borghettop. 212
Obsidianp. 213
Pietre del Vesuviop. 214
Other "porphyries" and volcanic rocksp. 214
Granites and other plutonic rocksp. 215
Rubislaw granitep. 216
Barre granitep. 216
Bethel white granitep. 217
Cornish granitep. 217
Blanco perlap. 218
Rosa Bavenop. 218
Granito Sardop. 219
Granito violettop. 219
Granite rosso anticop. 220
Shap granitep. 222
Rosa Porrinop. 222
Red Peterhead granitep. 223
Balmoral granitep. 223
Dakota mahoganyp. 224
Baltic brownp. 224
Luxullianitep. 225
Unakitep. 225
Larvikitep. 226
Marmo Misiop. 228
Granito del Forop. 228
Orbicular granitep. 229
Granito della colonnap. 230
Granito bianco e nerop. 230
Granito verde anticop. 231
Stone in the homep. 232
Rustenburgp. 234
Granito nero anticop. 234
Nero Zimbabwep. 235
Belfast blackp. 235
Verde Ubatubap. 236
Other plutonic rocksp. 236
Quartz and opalp. 237
Rock crystal, smoky quartzp. 238
Amethyst, citrine, rose quartzp. 239
Agate, onyxp. 240
Moss agatep. 242
Sard, carnelianp. 243
Prase, plasma and bloodstonep. 243
Chrysoprasep. 244
Ribbon jasperp. 244
Mookaitep. 245
Calcedonio di Volterrap. 245
Diaspri di Siciliap. 246
Diaspro di Bargap. 247
Inlaid stonep. 248
Egyptian jasperp. 250
Landscape jasperp. 250
Leopardskin jasperp. 251
Ocean jasperp. 251
Tiger's eye, hawk's eye, tiger ironp. 252
Silicified woodp. 253
Precious opalp. 254
Other quartz and opalp. 254
Other decorative mineralsp. 255
Jadeite jadep. 256
Nephrite jadep. 257
Bowenitep. 257
Malachitep. 258
Chrysocollap. 259
Turquoisep. 259
Amazonitep. 260
Larimarp. 260
Sodalite, princess bluep. 261
Lapis lazulip. 262
Labradoritep. 264
Labradorescent anorthoclasep. 265
Blue Johnp. 266
Fluoritep. 267
Charoitep. 267
Sugilitep. 268
Rhodochrositep. 268
Thulitep. 269
Rhodonitep. 269
Stone for sculpturep. 270
Eudialytep. 272
Ruby in zoisitep. 272
Steatitep. 273
Other decorative mineralsp. 273
Finding out morep. 274
Indexp. 283
Acknowledgmentsp. 288
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Introduction There are thousands of different decorative stones, and they are used in every country of the world. Look around and you'll see them adding color to the fronts of stores. They form the practical, hardwearing cladding to many architectural interiors and exteriors of company offices and public buildings. Enter a church, synagogue or mosque and you will see them, often in beautiful patterns, cladding walls and floors, lecterns and altars. Memorials are carved into them, graves are marked with them, and they make superb raw material for sculptors to carve. Beautiful, natural rocks have a functional place inside our homes too, forming practical surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms, or made into the vases, tealight holders and other ornaments so popular with contemporary interior designers. Of course decorative minerals are widely used in jewelry too. Stone has a timeless quality, and some of the most exquisite ornamental stones are found in the decoration of precious antique furniture. The tradition of using polished stone for decoration is shared among civilizations all over the world, going well back into antiquity. Turning Rock into a Thing of Beauty It has to be admitted that most natural rocks are not particularly attractive to look at. Even the stones in this book, when roughly hewn from the ground, are generally rather dull. It is when they are polished, buffed to a bright reflective luster, that colors are enriched and patterns and structures sharpened, and their inherent natural beauty s revealed. Not all rocks have decorative value. They must have a compact and cohesive structure that enables them to be sawn or shaped without splitting or breaking up, and they must have an attractive appearance. They also need to occur in nature in sufficient quantities. Some semiprecious minerals are so valuable that quite small deposits are commercially viable. For "dimension stone"-- that is slabbed and polished for architectural use -- much larger quantities of stone must be available. A huge global quarrying and processing industry supplies the polished stone we see all around us. Detective work Decorative rocks can reveal evidence of ancient life forms, and great global processes -- from earthquakes to the formation of great mountain chains. When identifying stones, it helps to understand a little about the geological processes that formed them and gave them their various characteristics. Traditionally, marble is defined as any rock composed of calcite or dolomite (two common carbonate minerals) that takes a good polish. The stone trade still uses this definition, comparing marbles to limestones that have similar compositions but do not take a polish. Modern geologists are much more specific: they classify limestones as sedimentary rocks, and marbles as limestones which have been "metamorphosed" that is, altered -- by heat and pressure. In a similar way, the trade uses the term granite to encompass a wide variety of rock types composed of silica or silicate minerals (but not as specifically as geologists in their definition). This "jungle of names" is explained more fully in the opening "All about decorative stones" section of this book, as are the "earth-shattering" processes by which rocks form, and the broad range of different rock types and how they are classified by the trade and by geologists. This sourcebook describes and illustrates close to 300 decorative rocks and minerals, and introduces many others. This may be just a tiny proportion of the many different kinds used globally, but it includes those that are particularly popular or of special historic interest. The photographs show the stones in actual size, as they appear when polished. Each entry gives a short summary of the stone's source, history and use, and a brief geological description to help with identification. It will be an invaluable reference for archaeologist, architects, artists, antique

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