Friday, 5 August 2016


So what is Scagliola?  It is a method of creating imitation marble or other stone.  This example is a Attingham Hall in Shropshire and the columns are hollow wood covered by scagliola.  Because they are hollow they sound totally different to marble columns when you tap on them.  They are also warmer to the touch.

The Scagliola technique came into fashion in 17th-century Tuscany as an effective substitute for costly marble inlays, the pietra dura works created for the Medici family in Florence.

Scagliola is a composite substance made from selenite, glue and natural pigments, imitating marble and other hard stones. The material may be veined with colors and applied to a core, or desired pattern may be carved into a previously prepared scagliola matrix. The pattern's indentations are then filled with the colored, plaster-like scagliola composite, and then polished with flax oil for brightness, and wax for protection. The combination of materials and technique provides a complex texture, and richness of colour not available in natural veined marbles.


  1. Thank you, this was most interesting! In Ludwigsburg palace, there are some rooms with real marble and some with what the guides usually call "plaster marble". I don't think it's the same as scagliola, because I seem to remember there is no selenite or other material mixed in.

  2. How beautiful! Scagliola reminded me of visiting the Morman Tabernacle and seeing the columns there that were painted to look like marble but were made from wood and painted with a feather to get the veining just right. Interesting! Hope all is well with you John and have a wonderful weekend!

  3. It sounds like it would be easier to maintain than a marble inlay, also. It is lovely.

  4. Those columns are gorgeous as is the whole room for that matter.

  5. The columns were certainly impressive and I'd never have thought to have given them a tap if you hadn't prompted me to. The technique is absolutely fascinating and I'd never heard of it before. I'll be tapping internal columns from now on!


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