Imitation of alabaster, this noble material worked since Antiquity

Imitation of alabaster, this noble material worked since Antiquity

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Alabaster comes from the Latin word albus meaning white. This natural rock (variety of calcite or gypsum) has been appreciated by sculptors for millennia for its aesthetic qualities and its tenderness. It is used in Antiquity, particularly in Egypt, to make funeral ornaments, vases and statuettes. In the Middle Ages, it was used to make sculptures of recumbent figures on tombs (especially in England). The tomb of Edward II at Gloucester is the first in a long series. Alabaster was gradually abandoned in the Renaissance in favor of marble, but experienced renewed interest in the 18th century and at the end of the 19th century. Today, alabaster is used to make designer and elegant furniture. It can be seen on bars or tables in alabaster in some trendy hotels and restaurants (Atelier Alain Ellouz makes creations in real alabaster as evidenced by the photo taken above in the Murano hotel in Paris). However, these creations are not always accessible to ordinary people. Here is a selection of white objects that can make you think of alabaster at a lower cost!


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