The Art and Orchid GalleryThe Art and Orchid Gallery
Stalactite Hard Stone Carving of a Figure

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Decorative Art: Minerals: Hardstone: Pre 1980: item # 1201110

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Stalactite Hard Stone Carving of a Figure
This unusual stalactite hard stone carving has a deeply recessed carved figure, probably carved in the 20th Century. Stalactites are stone 'icicles' generally made of calcium carbonate but may contain greater than 65 minerals. They form on the roofs of caverns over long periods of time.[1, 2] During the second cycle of cave or cavern formation, when the water table is below the cave, rainwater passing through soils and rocks dissolve soluble compounds and drip through these caves. The water evaporates leaving behind the minerals to form icicle and other drip stones.[1] Once dried, the outside of the stalactite can have a rough, tan stained, bumpy appearance. However, the inside, usually viewed when the stalactite is broken off or cut, will look crystalline due to the unstained minerals. The Art and Orchid Gallery's hard stone carving is deeply recessed, more than half way through the triple stalactite. This brilliant MesoAmerican figure is seated with folded hands and close feet. It seems like he was captured in the stone waiting centuries to be exposed by the artist. Some crystalline areas have been left on the figure and just below it. This extraordinary contrast of the smooth crystalline figure and his rough, dull dripstone surroundings of the remaining stalactite, make this an unusual sculpture. References available upon request. Size: ~ 13 3/4" H x 5" x 3"; Weight: 5 pounds;

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