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of which however should be called grey, for no
blue marble has hitherto been discovered, that
colour being almost peculiar to the precious
stones ; but it appears in alabaster, a blue trans-
lucent kind of which is found near Nottingham*.

FRANCE. The most singular is perhaps the
blue of Narbonne, described by Patrin as of a
deep blue, spotted with bright grey. Brard says
that it is white, mingled with bluish grey, and is
in the highest esteem, being sometimes improperly
called marble of Languedoc. Of the beautiful
red marble, which forms many chimney-pieces at
Chantilly, often spotted with a deeper colour, and
sometimes with white spar, I cannot discover the

* The mountain of Cramont, near Mont Blanc, is composed of
a coarse marble, of that kind which the Italians call cipolino; the
base being large-grained, and confusedly crystallised, of a slate
blue, with white vein? and spangles of mica. Sauss. 915,
VOL. I. 2 D


site, if it be not the griotte of Canne, not far from
Karbonne*, which is a deep red, spotted with
white, or the Serrancolin, which is of a fair red,
mingled with yellow and grey, and is dug near the
river Neste 3 which joins the Garonne. Patrin
says, that fine large blocks of Serrancolin have
been raised for the decoration of the royal palaces
of France. The Pyrenees furnish many marbles,
as the green and red of Campan ; and, among
others mentioned by Palassou, the pure primitive
white of Loubie, the grey of Barege, the red of
Serrancolin already mentioned, with those of Scix,
mingled with argil and talc, like the Campan.
Red, with yellow spots, from Poitou. Pale red
and yellow, from Tournus, which decorates many
churches at Lyons. Grey, veined with white and
golden yellow^ from Bourbon-Lancy. Red, with
white veins, from Caen in Normandy. That of
Marquise, near Boulogne, with large yellow spots
and red veins. Many of the Flemish marbles are
black, veined with white; the others chiefly be-
long to the Conchitic or Zoophytic divisions.

* So says Patrin ; but I can only find one Cannes, near Antibcs.
Brongniart says Cosne, in the department of Allier. Marbles, like
jewels, being common objects of commerce, many frauds are prac-
tised, and many errors in consequence arise. But an eastern marble,
probably the Synnadic, is compared, by Tournefort, \vith the red

and white of Cosne in Languedoe.


To these may be added the following, indicated
by Brard. Spotted with red, white, grey, and
yellow, from the vicinity of Mont Dauphin, in the
Upper Alps. White, rose, and green, mingled
with garnets, needles of lepidote, and shining
spangles of iron ; this beautiful marble, of a saline
grain, is found at St. Maurice, in the Val God-
mar, but it belongs to the Composite Rocks. St.
Maurice likewise furnishes cipoline. Deep violet,
spotted with yellow, from Narbonne. Bariol& 9 or
streaked with various colours, white, red, and yel-
low, from the mouths of the Rhone, much esteem-
ed, being called marble of St. Baume, and reputed
equal to Spanish brocatdlo. White, veined with
grey, from the department of Mont Blanc, very
hard, being combined with silex. Grey and white,
spotted with red, from Liege. Of a light coffee
colour, with white, grey, and red ^eins, from Bou-
logne. Of Antin, white, with veins of a fiery red.
Lilac, from the Pyrenees. Black of Dinan, bitu-
minous : it is sometimes powdered with white
spots. Black, or rather grey, of Namur, much
used in Holland*. Isabella colour, with trans-
parent spots of deep brown, from Mont Rouge,

* Where it is called llaeuwe stein, or blue stone. Hill, perhaps,
thought Namur a town in Africa ; for he gravely affirms this to be
the Numidian marble of the ancients, which is literally toto ccelo

52 I> 2


near Paris. Yellow, with black dendrites, from
Rouen. Of St. Maximin, department of Var,
much esteemed in commerce, and called portor,
or the gold-bearer, because in that of the best
quality it is black, veined with golden yellow*.
White, from Civrai, reputed too hard by the mar-
ble-cutters, while this is in fact a perfection of

Many curious marbles are also found in the
isle of Corsica, now subject to France, as the cipo-
line of Corte ; and the isle of Elba has immense
quarries of white, veined with blackish green, and
also the cipoline.

The French make great use of marble, in tables
of all kinds, &c. Sec. ; to which practice may in
part be owing the irifrequcncy of conflagrations,
and no insurance company could derive the least
advantage in that country.

SPAIN. The milk-white of Cordova. Near
Filabres there is a mountain, about a league in
circuit, and 2000 feet in height, which is one en-
tire block of the purest white marble, and capable
of the highest polish. This singular mass is about
three leagues from Almeria, in Grenada. The
famous palace of the Alhambra, at Grenada, is
partly constructed from the white marble rocks

* Da Costa, p. 203, says it was much used in England.



around the town of Molina, in New Castile. In
the neighbourhood of Grenada, white saline mar-
ble, slightly tinged with red. Similar, but of a
finer grain, from Badajos in Estremadura. White,
with large grey spots, from La Mancha*. Grey,
from Toledo. Grey, veined and spotted with
white. Black, with grey and white, from Moron,
La Mancha, and Biscay; which last also furnishes
a black, veined with ochre red. Violet, elegantly
spotted with bright yellow, from Tortosa : this is
the celebrated brocatello of Spain. Dull . red,
veined and spotted with a lively red and shining
white, resembling.^ riotte'\. Of a dull violet, like
wine lees, with little orange spots, from Valencia.
Flesh-coloured, veined with white, from Santiago;
and there is also an entire mountain of this kind
near Antiquera. Fawn-colour, powdered with
grey, Cortegana. Dull red, with black capillary
veins, Valencia. Near Morviedro there is a hill
of black marble, veined with white, which gradu-
ally passes into a yellow, blue, and red bricia, at
the summit. Red, yellow, and white, of Molina,
lied, veined with grey, from Guipuscoa. The

* The French call such a marble Tigre, it should be Leoparde.
The tiger is barred, the leopard spotted.

t Griotte seems originally to imply a large deep red cherry. The
round dark spots might occasion the name.


others are Conchitic and Zoophytic marbles and

PORTUGAL. The mountains of Arrabeda fur-
nish some esteemed marbles. That of Troncao is
a pale yellow, with grey veins, and sometimes con -
tains shells.

ITALY. The chain of the Apennines being
chiefly calcareous, and Italy the seat of numerous
ancient monuments, and the parent of modern
sculpture and architecture, it is no wonder that
the Italian marbles have been highly celebrated.
White marble of Padua, Pisa, Pilli, and Bianeone,
all used in architecture in the north of Italy. The
cathedral of Milan is built with a white saline
marble, veined with grey, from Mergozzo*. Black
marble of Bergamo, of the most pure and intense
tint, and finest polish, whence the Italians call it
paragone. Black of Como, employed in the ca-
thedral of Sienna. Deep black, with pure white
veins. Polveroso, or powdered marble of Pistoia,
sprinkled with little dots, so as to appear dusty.
White, with large black spots, from Lago Mag-
giore, used in the decorations of most of the

* The primitive marble, white, with some veins of grey, and of
which the cathedral of Milan is constructed, leaves in the nitrous
acid white quartzy sand, with some pyrites and greenish siderite .
Sauss. 1771*


churches of the Milanese. The green of Florence
belongs to the magnesian, as does the verde-di-
Prado, so called from the little town of Prado,
but, as others say, from Corsica*. Slate blue,
veined with brown, from Margorre. Of Brema,
yellow, with white spots. Light red, spotted with
white, from the Veronese. Bluish grey, or what
is called blue, of Rosso f. White, with little spots,
and dots of blood red, from Luni. The yellow of
Sienna is one of those called brocatelli, or em-
broidered, the colour resembling the yolk of an
egg, in large irregular spots, surrounded with
veins of a dull purple. The commerce with Li-
vorno, strangely corrupted by our seamen into
Leghorn, has rendered this marble very common
in England. It is certainly beautiful, but far in-
ferior to the green of Anglesea, or the rose, spot*
ted with green, from Tirey. Yellow, veined with
black, also from the neighbourhood of Sienna J.
The curious marble of Florence, stained with re-
semblances of ruins, c. and which, with the den-
dritic, might be styled pictorial, being framed like

* What is called the Egyptian green, is a polzevera from the
vicinky of Genoa. It is so called because it resembles the verd
Antique, which was supposed to come from Egypt. See Da Costa,
p. 200. Patrin says it is from Carrara.

f The pavonazzo should be a ptirple, or dark blue.

t At a place about nine miles distant, called Mont Arrenti, at
the head of the vale ef Rosia.


pictures, properly belongs to the marlites. Orange,
or bright red inclining to yellow, like the gem
called jacint, from Verona; but as it sometimes
presents ammonites, it rather belongs to the Con-
chitic : the tomb of Petrarca, at Arquoi, recently
engraved by Faujas, is of this marble. A duller
red was used by the Romans in building the vast
amphitheatre of Verona. Six leagues from Ve-
rona Faujas observed a singular kind, which he
calls bone-marble, being of the same red paste,
with a greenish shade, and presenting large white
spots, which are petrified bones ; but he has not
explained to what animal they belong. Large
columns of this singular marble have been ex-
tracted *.

Sicily. ( The chief marble of Sicily is red, with long
stripes, like ribbons, white, rose-coloured, and
sometimes greenish, which at intervals revolve,
forming pretty acute angles. This singular mar-
ble is of the highest value f. Bisachino not only
presents a milk white, but an apple green, which
takes the finest polish, probably a serpentine.
Trapani possesses a red, with deeper spots ; and
another red, spotted with green ; not to mention

* Brard, 418.

f It is a heavy ferruginous kind, whence our ma,rble-cutters call
it Sicilian jasper. It is perhaps from Giuliano, in the south-west
of Sicily, a spot famous for products of this kind.



grey, spotted with several colours, and one com-
posed of spots red and yellow. Castro Nuovo,
yellow, spotted with red. Taormina, red, spotted
with black, or a deeper red ; yellow, spotted with
white and black ; and a yet more singular, green-
ish, with bright brown spots; and a lilac, with
wavy reflections. Termini, greenish, veined with
white, and dotted with red. Near Sciacca ap-
pears a bright green, waved with deeper green
and yellow. In the river Niso are found frag-
ments of red, spotted with a white semi-trans-
parent substance, like chalcedony.

As marble so much abounds in Europe, there
was no occasion to import it from the other con-
tinents, and their products of this kind remain of
course little known. In ASIA Dr. Shaw men-
tions a dendritic marble of Mount Sinai, which
has been confounded with the pictorial marble of
Florence, as appears from Wallerius. Persia con-
tains many marbles, mentioned by Chardin, parti-
cularly the translucent white. The kingdom of
Siam, and China, also present edifices of beautiful
white marble. Hindostan does not appear rich
in this production. Some of the statues and mo-
numents are rather of a coarse limestone than a

The AFRICAN marbles were among the most
celebrated of antiquity, when the northern part of





that continent was possessed by the Egyptians,
Carthaginians, and various Greek colonies, and
aftenvards ruled for many centuries by the Ro-
mans. As the intercourse with Italy remained
frequent till the seventh or eighth century, there
is the less occasion for wonder that the tradition
of the Roman artists should have preserved the
distinctions of some African marbles ; and as they
are not numerous, it will be more satisfactory to
consider them all in one point of view.

What is called the ancient red, already de-
scribed. This is dotted or powdered with white;
but there is another kind with white spots.

The dark red, with small triangular white spots,
must also be classed among the African ; and the
red, with spots like flames. Similar marbles are
called ,/?0reV/, among which is a white or grey, with
purple flames*.

Xumidian. The ancient yellow, according to Boot and Wai-
lerius, and many ancient authorities, was from
Numidia; as was the grey \vith yellow spots.
Pliny, who informs us that ships were built for
the sole purpose of importing marbles f, mentions
the Numidian and Synnadic as being variegated
by art, with inserted fragments. He reproaches
the bad taste of those who altered the natural

* For the African bricia see the Glutenites.
f xxxvi. 1.


appearance of marble, by insertions added to the
natural spots, so as to represent animals and other
objects*; whence the Numidian was diversified
with artificial eggs, and the Synnadic with rich
crimson spots, instead of the dull red furnished
by nature f. In another passage he says that
Lepidus first used Numidian marble in his house,
even his threshold being paved with it; whence
he incurred public reproach for the new luxury J.
Four years after, Lucullus brought a marble to
Rome, which was called Lucullean, being black,
and found in an island of the Nile. But luxury
assumed a far wider career, for ages after the
time of Pliny; and many marbles unknown to
that illustrious author must have been imported
from Africa, and other countries.

* xxxv. i.

f This precious marble was brought from the very centre of Asia
Minor, Sinnada, or Synnada, being a town in the greater Phrygia.
Strabo says, lib. xii. (t Sinada is a town of no great size, before
which is a plain of about sixty stadia, planted with olive trees.
Further on is the village of Docimia, and the quarries of Sinadic
stone ; for so the Romans call it, but the natives Docimite. At first
only small pieces were extracted ; now, on account of the prodigious
luxury of the Romans, immense and entire columns are hewn out,
the stone approaching nearly to the alalastrites in variety. Many
loads of this kind are carried down to the sea; and columns and
tables of admirable size and beauty are exported to Rome."

See the Appendix, for a fuller account of the Synnadic, African,
and other ancient marbles.

% xxxvi. 6.


A singular marble is still known to be found at
Sitifi, in the north of Africa, being the proper, tur-
quin, because, like the turquois, it is supposed to
be brought from a country subject to the Turks*.
It is of a bluish grey, or slate colour, with spots
of siderite or hornblende ; and seems to be one of
the most primitive.

American. The common marbles abound in AMERICA ; and
the conchitic is found at the height of 12,000 feet
in the Andes. The following observations are
from Molina's admirable essay on the natural
history of Chili.

" The calcareous stones which this country fur-
nishes, are limestones, marbles, calcareous spar,
and gypsum. Among the limestones some are
found very compact, and of all the colours ; as
are the coarse-grained, while the common lime-
stone is white, bluish, and grey. The marbles of
a single colour hitherto discovered are, white sta-
tuary marble, black, greenish, yellow, and grey.
Two mountains, the one in the Cordelera of Co-
piapo, and the other in the marshes of Maule, en-
. tirely consist of marble in zones of several colours ;
but in such strata as surround the mountains,
from their base to the summit, with a symmetry
that seems an artifice of nature. The variegated

* Some say turcjuiu, turckmo, is derived from the blue colour of
the turquois.


marbles are, the grey, with white, yellow, and
blue veins ; green, speckled with black ; and yel-
low, with black, brown, and green irregular spots.
This last, the quarry of which is at San-Fernando,
the capital of the province of Colchagua, is in
great esteem, because it is easily wrought, and
hardens in the air. All the marbles of Chili are
generally of a good quality, and all take a good
polish. Persons who have had occasion to ex-
amine the lower Andes, have assured me that
those mountains abound in marbles of different
qualities, and nearly of all colours ; but the ac-
counts I have received are too superficial to en-
able me to give exact descriptions of them. In
the plains near the city of Coqtlimbo, a white shell
marble has been found, somewhat granular, three
or four feet under the vegetable earth. The shells
in this marble are more or less entire, and give it
all the appearance of a real lumachella. The bed
of this marble extends in length and breadth more
than three miles; its thickness, generally about
two feet, varies, and depends on the number of
the beds, which are sometimes five, sometimes
eight. These beds are almost always divided by
very thin layers of sand. This stone increases in
hardness in proportion to its depth. The first
beds only present a coarse friable stone, of no use
but to make lime: the following, although com-


pact, easily yield to the iron instruments used to
cut it, and raise it from the quarry; but in build-
ing acquire a sufficient hardness to resist any im-
pression of the air or water."*

Many curious marbles are also found in New
Spain, and in North America. The chief quar-
ries in the territories of the United States are at
Stockbndge, and Lanesborough, Massachusetts;
sundry places in Vermont and Pennsylvania ,
Amenia, in New York ; and in Virginia : some
of which fully equal the finest specimens from
Europe f. At Marble Town, near Hudson river,
are quarries of fine black marble, spotted with
white sheila.


This division has scarcely been observed by
mineralogists, except in a few instances. Accord-
ins; to Werner's system, it must chiefly belong to
the transitive, and the floetz or horizontal rocks.
Some few examples have been already mentioned
of very compact ancient marbles, with a fine frac-
ture like the argillaceous substances, such as the
palombino, and that which resembles ivory. That
called Greek, and the ancient black and yellow,
also approach to this division.

* Molina, St. Nat. p. 77-

t Spafford's General Geography, Hudson 1809, 8vo. p. 190.



Many of the marbles used in the Egyptian mo-
numents appear to be of this description, and
Wad has divided them into two kinds, the dcnsum,
and the lamellosum granulare. Of the former
are snow white, and yellowish white, reddish and
yellowish grey, and Isabella yellow, passing to
yellowish brown*. He adds that the lapis Troicus,
of which, according to Strabo, the pyramids were
chiefly built, must belong to this sort, as Niebiihr
says they are constructed of limestone full ofpor-
pites, or nummulites, drawn from the mountains
called Mokattam, but anciently Mons Troicus.
But, according to many specimens and recent ob-
servations, the pyramids are built of a beautiful
fine limestone, which often contains shells. M.
Koziere, an excellent judge, in the abstract of
Egyptian mineralogy, which he presented to me,
regards the two long chains of mountains, which
confine on either side the long valley called Egypt,
as being both of a calcareous nature, the sand-
stone only beginning about twenty leagues from
the cataracts, a little above the town of Esneli.
The celebrated tombs excavated at Thebes must
of course be in limestone.

Among the modern marbles, the most compact
are those referable to the marlites, as being corn-



*' The African red 'is often compact.


bined with a considerable quantity of argil. The
others have seldom attracted especial observation ;
and the division indeed cannot be regarded as of
much importance, as even in geology the granular
marbles cannot always be regarded as primitive,
nor the earthy as secondary.

Most of the compact marbles also contain shells,
so that they belong to the next subdivision,


of Bieyberg. The most beautiful and celebrated of this kind
is a recent discovery, being found at Bleyberg in
Carinthia, where it appeared in a bed of common
limestone, above a vein of lead. It is unfortu-
nately brittle, so that pieces of a large size cannot
be obtained. It is a grey marble, or fine lime-
stone, reflecting the red, green, and blue tints of
the opal, and almost with equal fire. These ex-
quisite colours arise from the laminar naker, or
what is commonly called mother-of-pearl, of a
kind of nautilus, of which fragments are imbedded
in this splendid substance ; their lustre being pro-
bably heightened by the fine reflections of iron,
observable in that. of Elba, for veins of elegant
pyrites are not unusual in this stone.

The name of Lurnachella, which in Italian sim-
ply implies snail or shell marble, now begins to


be confined to this, and the following elegant

Among the numerous marbles discovered in the Lumacheiia.
ruins of Rome, is said to be the beautiful luma-
chella, ridiculously styled of Astracan, a name
which has embarrassed Patrin, who discovered
none such in the regions around that city, so cele-
brated in the Orlando Furioso, and the romances
of the middle ages. If he had looked into Ferber
or Born, he would have seen that it is a mere cor-
ruption, owing to the omission of one letter, the
Italian being Castracana, not Astracana. One
kind, according to Born, is called castracana della

) O '

castellina. This is of a yellowish white, spotted
with little grey dots*.

The finest lumachella, reputed ancient, is of a
deep brown, colour, and contains a number of
shells, which form little circles, or semicircles, of
a bright golden colour, or orange yellow, which
appear with the greater lustre from the contrast of
the base. This may be regarded as the most sin-
gular of all the marbles. Ferber also mentions
the following varieties :

* This Castracan is the Castravan of Woodward and Da Costa :
the Khesroan of d'Anville. The mountains of Castravan extend
behind Tripoli in Syria. See Pococke, ii. 92 ; and Maundrel's
Travels. They are also famous for a marlite slate, with impressions
of fish and sea-stars : Mode VII,



Greyish brown, with white transparent veins,
like agate.

The same, with rose-coloured stripes.

Brownish yellow, with small black shells.

With regard to the inferior kinds of conchitic
marble, they seem to have been little regarded by
the ancients. The masters of the world, whether
seated at Rome or Constantinople, continued for
ten or twelve centuries their preference of the
Phrygian, with crimson or lilac flowers ; the im-
perial red of Africa ; the green of Laconia ; and
the yellow of Numidia. Among the capital co-
lours, a blue alone was wanting; but it is also
unknown to us, and perhaps to nature, lazulite,
the sole rock of that colour, being only found in
detached masses ; a circumstance as unaccountable
as that there should be only one shrub with a blue
flower, and that in our climate confined to the hot-

The artists and dealers at Rome, sometimes
with a view of distinction, and sometimes to in-
crease the price, may apply the name of antique
as jewellers do that of oriental, merely to the
more precious kinds. Such perhaps may be that
marble reputed ancient, and commonly styled at
Rome Panno di morto, or the funereal pall. It is
of the deepest black, sprinkled with white shells
like snails, each an inch or more in length, at*


distant and rather regular intervals. It is very
scarce, and deservedly in high esteem. The an-
cient occhio di pavone, or peacock's tail, is by
some called a conchitic marble, the shells forming
large circular and semicircular spots, red, white,
and yellow*'.

In the modern kingdoms of Europe, as inferior
in taste as in power to the Romans, many kinds of
conchitic marble have been introduced into archi-
tecture. The pillars of the venerable cathedral English,
of Durham, a monument of the eleventh century,

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