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
Nottingham alabaster relief with the Adoration of the Magi.
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