Small Persian Brass Chessboard in Alabaster
Small Persian Brass Alabaster Wood Chessboard : Base 18,5″ x 18,5″ x 2,7″ – Square 1,4″. Inlaid in Alabaster (true natural stone from Volterra in the hearth of Tuscany) . Storage box with drawer.
The Alabaster, What is it?
The alabaster is a snow white material of fine uniform grain, but it often is associated with an oxide of iron, which produces brown clouding and veining in the stone. The coarser varieties of gypsum alabaster are converted by calcination into plaster of Paris, and are sometimes known as “plaster stone.”
In Europe, the centre of the alabaster trade today is Florence, Italy. Tuscan alabaster occurs in nodular masses embedded in limestone, interstratified with marls of Miocene and Pliocene age. The mineral is worked largely by means of underground galleries, in the district of Volterra. Several varieties are recognized—veined, spotted, clouded, agatiform, and others. The finest kind, obtained principally from Castellina, is sent to Florence for figure-sculpture, while the common kinds are carved locally, into vases, lights, and various ornamental objects. These items are objects of extensive trade, especially in Florence, Pisa, and Livorno.