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Alabaster. A natural stone used for statues and ornamental carving. It is a granular form of gypsum, usually white, pink or yellowish in colour and very soft. The best sort is pure white and translucent but it can be made nearly opaque to resemble marble by heating it in almost boiling water. It was extensively used in the medieval and Renaissance periods. In the late 14th c. and 15th c. English work, particularly that of Nottingham, had a European reputation. Being soft, a. allows a more delicate style of carving than is possible in stone.


Nottingham alabaster relief with the Adoration of the Magi.



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