Avvocato Faustino Corsi – Important Collection of Decorative Stones – The Corsi Collection

Corsi Collection

Avvocato Faustino Corsi, a Roman lawyer, who lived from 1711 to 1846, is a name that needs no introduction when we talk about decorative stones. He established the Corsi Collection of rare stones.

For those who do not know, the term ‘decorative stones’ is used for any rock or mineral that can be made to look beautiful after cutting and polishing. Popular decorative stones are serpentines, granites, marbles, jaspers, jade, fluorites and amethyst.

A Grand Tour Rare Greek Porphyry Marble Vase at Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd.
A Grand Tour Rare Greek Porphyry Marble Vase at Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd.

The use of decorative stones in furniture, artifacts and buildings, for embellishment purposes, has been a common practice since ancient times. Even today, a lot of people use natural stones that are not only durable, but also look beautiful, in decorating their houses. They are also widely used in public buildings and monuments.

Avvocato Faustino Corsi

Specimen Marbles and Stones

Faustino Corsi is widely known because he had a collection of 1000 different decorative stones. His collection included stones, minerals and rocks that were used in ancient and 19th century Rome, in Italy during the Medieval Period, in Russia, England, and many other countries. The collection is unique because it contains a huge variety of both ancient and modern stones and was labeled by the Roman lawyer with the locations they were extracted from. The Corsi collection is regarded as the most diverse and one of the most important collections of decorative stones.

Corsi is also known as the pioneer of the geological classification of decorative stones. In the catalog that was published in 1925, Corsi had described 900 stones of his collection. A supplement catalog was published two years later, in 1827, for the details regarding the remaining 100 stones. In the catalog, Corsi divided his wonderful stone collection into 15 different classes, each was discussed in detail.

Due to these reasons, his collection has always been highly valued by the researchers of art and archeology and is even considered a significant resource today.   

The huge collection, named after him, is now a part of the Museum of Natural History at the Oxford University. The collection was gifted to the University by one of its students Stephen Jarrett , who had bought the whole collection in 1827.

A few samples from our extensive stock of exceptional antique furniture
with wonderful rare and exclusive decorative stones.

Faustino Corsi made at least one more collection of stones after he sold the collection of decorative stones to Stephen Jarrett. That collection is now a part of the Natural History Museum in London.

While Avvocato Faustino Corsi was a highly regarded judge in Rome, he was deeply interested in arts, music and archeology. Also, he had a strong passion of collecting and learning about decorative stones that were used in ancient Rome. He also extensively wrote on ancient decorative stones. His works are still considered highly valuable contributions in the fields of archeology and arts.

Do check out Nicholas Wells Antiques for an amazing collection of authentic antique pieces from all over the world.

antique Italian marble center table
Detail of a tabletop with Granito Verdi della sedia di st Lorenzo

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