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alabaster

alabaster. Massive, fine-grained partly translucent type of gypsum (calcium sulphate), coloured white, yellow, red, and brown, called bastard alabaster, often employed for church fittings and monuments. Oriental or calcareous alabaster is a translucent calcium carbonate, yellowish-white in colour, broken with milky veins. Thin slabs of oriental alabaster were often used in window-lights (especially in Italy), and the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I, now in Sir John Soane's Museum, London, is made of this material.

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alabaster

alabaster, fine-grained, massive, translucent variety of gypsum, a hydrous calcium sulfate. It is pure white or streaked with reddish brown. Alabaster, like all other forms of gypsum, forms by the evaporation of bedded deposits that are precipitated mainly from evaporating seawater. It is soft enough to be scratched with a fingernail and hence it is easily broken, soiled, and weathered. Because of its softness, alabaster is often carved for statuary and other decorative purposes. It is quarried in England and also in Italy. Vases and statuettes of Italian alabaster are sold as "Florentine marbles." The term "Oriental alabaster" is a misnomer and actually refers to marble, a calcium carbonate; whereas gypsum is a calcium sulfate. Important sources of alabaster are Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and Mexico (from which it is exported under the name Mexican onyx); in the United States there are important sources in Utah and Arizona. Oriental alabaster (marble) was extensively used by the Egyptians in sarcophagi, in the linings of tombs, in the walls and ceilings of temples, and in vases and sacrificial vessels. The Romans worked the Algerian and Egyptian quarries and used the stone for similar purposes. In modern times it was used by Muhammad Ali for his mosque in Cairo. The French make extensive use of alabaster in interior decoration.

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alabaster

al·a·bas·ter / ˈaləˌbastər/ • n. a fine-grained, translucent form of gypsum, typically white, often carved into ornaments. • adj. made of alabaster. ∎ poetic/lit. like alabaster in whiteness and smoothness.

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alabaster

alabaster Fine-grained, massive variety of gypsum (calcium sulphate), snow-white and translucent in its natural form. It can be dyed or made opaque by heating and is used for making statues and other ornaments.

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alabaster

alabaster XIV. — OF. alabastre (mod. albâtre)- L. alabaster, -trum container for perfume — Gr. alábast(r)os.

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alabaster

alabaster See GYPSUM.

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alabaster

alabasterbarter, Bata, cantata, carter, cassata, charter, chipolata, ciabatta, darter, desiderata, errata, garter, imprimatur, Inkatha, Jakarta, Magna Carta, Maratha, martyr, Odonata, passata, persona non grata, rata, Renata, Río de la Plata, serenata, sonata, Sparta, starter, strata, taramasalata, tartar, Tatar, Zapata •after, drafter, grafter, hereafter, laughter, rafter, thereafter, whereafter •chanter, enchanter, granter, planter, supplanter, transplanter, Vedantablaster, caster, castor, faster, grandmaster, headmaster, master, pastor, plaster •alabaster • telecaster • forecaster •broadcaster • sportscaster •newscaster • sandblaster •bandmaster • taskmaster •pastmaster • paymaster • ringmaster •quizmaster • spymaster •housemaster • Scoutmaster •toastmaster • schoolmaster •harbourmaster (US harbormaster) •quartermaster • substrata •sought-after

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