Antique Marble and Stone Identification

by John Werry on December 21, 2008

I’ve created an antique marble/stone reference below to provide us with a little more information on what types of stone and marble went into the furniture of the Victorian era.  I’ve started this “reference” with images from my collection and invite you to take pictures of yours and send them to me to be added.

Most importantly, if you are familiar with names, origins, other information that I can add to the images of these types of stone, please comment on this post or send me an email.  I’d like this to be a “living” post that gets updated over time.

Click a thumbnail for the large version with description.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

zeke December 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Very nice idea John. I’ll take some pics of mine and send them to you. I have a few different kinds of marble than what you have here.

This site is fast becoming the ultimate database for Victorian furniture reference. If you can keep all this archived the way you have been doing there is no telling how important your efforts will be.

Bravo John, Long live RV



RareVictorian December 22, 2008 at 11:28 am

Zeke, thanks. The more the merrier.


renaissanceman December 23, 2008 at 2:02 am

Fabulous grouping of marble. Through my research most of the marble in your photos is from Western Europe, Italy, Spain, possibly North Africa. During the 19th through early 20th Century there were hundreds of quarries, many now abandoned or depleted. That is why its so hard to match marble today. Certain companies specialized in more exotic marble, but most companies had the ability to acquire exotic marbles because large slabs were being shipped to America as ballast aboard ships with other cargo from Europe. There were numerous importers in New York, Philadelphia, and other ports such as Boston and New Orleans, who supplied the rough sawn marble to furniture companies, many of which cut, edged, and polished the marble themeselves. Some of the best marble comes from Italian quarries, including Carrara marbles. Many high end furniture companies also used alabaster and onyx.


zeke December 23, 2008 at 7:05 pm

One thing I think would be a really nice reference guide is pictures of original hardware. There are some very interesting pulls etc. on better Victorian furniture and it would be very helpful to a lot of people to determine if their pulls are replacements or not. The hardware, often, is an art form in itself and would certainly be of great interest to see examples. I would be happy to send jpegs of my pieces hardware and with my always present digital camera I would be happy to take photographs of any I come across at shows, auctions etc.



RareVictorian December 24, 2008 at 9:08 am

I’d be happy to set up a flickr repository or something like that and link it to RV. Not quite sure how to make it a “reference” since much of them are unmarked, attached to unmarked furniture. What might you suggest we do?


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