3" Inch White Alabaster Stone Wine Bottle Stoppers (set of 2)

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  • $19.99
  • Regular price $24.99
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These hand-carved alabaster stone wine bottle stoppers have been handmade and imported by artisans in Italy. Each stone wine bottle stopper measures: 3"H x 1"H x 1"W inches. Alabaster is mined and then sold in blocks to alabaster workshops. There they are cut to the needed size ("squaring"), and then are processed in different techniques: turned on a lathe for round shapes, carved into three-dimensional sculptures, chiseled to produce low relief figures or decoration; and then given an elaborate finish that reveals its transparency, color, and texture. In order to diminish the translucency of the alabaster and to produce an opacity suggestive of true marble, the statues are immersed in a bath of water and heated gradually—nearly to the boiling point—an operation requiring great care, because if the temperature is not regulated carefully, the stone acquires a dead-white, chalky appearance. The effect of heating appears to be a partial dehydration of the gypsum. If properly treated, it very closely resembles true marble and is known as "marmo di Castellina". Alabaster is a porous stone and can be "dyed" into any color or shade, a technique used for centuries. For this, the stone needs to be fully immersed in various pigmentary solutions and heated to a specific temperature. The technique can be used to disguise alabaster. In this way, a very misleading imitation of coral that is called "alabaster coral" is produced.