Medieval Mosaic Floor Fragment

Medieval Mosaic Floor Fragment

1000 to 1400 Europe

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A Medieval Mosaic Floor Fragment Inlaid with Red and Green Porphyry from the Cosmati Pavement of a European Church
10th - 13th Century

Size: 7cm x 7cm – 2¾ ins x 2¾ ins
Provenance: Ex Collection A E Henderson
Acquired in the early 20th Century
Not all porphyry from the ancient quarries at Gebel Dokhan in Egypt is purple. The Romans called the greenish variety 'Lapis Hieracitis' or simply 'Hieracitis' meaning 'hawk'. After the Gebel Dokhan quarries were abandoned Imperial porphyry was extensively recycled by the Scalpellini of Rome who called it 'Porfido Rosso Antico' and 'Porfido Lerde Egiziano'. They sliced it thinly and used it for the famous Cosmati pavements of the churches of Rome and other European cities, and as inlays in altars and furniture.
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