Most of us are familiar with the beauty and elegance Carrara marble can bring to a piece and to a space, but what is the story behind this timeless stone?
The name derives from its provenance in the city of Carrara, settled between northeastern coast of the Ligurian Sea and the western edge of the Apuan Alps in the Tuscan region of Italy. The earliest known settlements in the area were by the Apuan Ligures tribe back in the 9th century BC (over 2800 years ago).
The town, as it is now, originated from the Roman conquest of Liguria (just north of Carrara) in the early 2nd century BC. Houses and districts were built for marble workers and slaves, who opened up quarries to excavate the alluring stone.
The marble was extracted and shipped to Rome for use in palaces and monuments—it is responsible for transforming Rome from a city of brick huts into a gleaming empire. Most notably, it was used to create the Pantheon and Trajan’s Column.
After the Roman Age, Carrara experienced another “boom” during the Renaissance. Money was pouring into the arts, and marble, especially Carrara, was “de rigueur” in Florence, Venice, and Rome.
Michelangelo himself traveled to the Apuan Alps to choose his marble for sculptures and other whims of his patrons, the Medici. He eventually even opened his own quarries for them, rivaling those of Carrara. Michelangelo’s David is a fine example of his search for the brightest, most finely veined marble available.
Carrara marble is a beautiful staple of the antique French furniture here at Jean-Marc Fray. Adding elegance and history, the marble often tops chests, coffee tables, and more. The veining and details may differ from piece to piece, but the stunning marble always adds to the classic aesthetic.