Hand-carved Swedish Dolerite box containing an Egyptian Red Porphyry box
The black Dolerite is an unusually black rock from quarries near Hagghult in Sweden.
The Imperial porphyry is the classic red or purple plutonic rock from Mons Porphyrites in the Eastern desert of Egypt. It was famously exploited by the Romans from Ptolemaic to Byzantine times when it was highly prized for sculpture, sarcophagi, and architectural elements. Colours vary throughout the quarry complex. This piece is carved from fine rich red material with clean white phenocrysts.