Stephen Cox RA {British b.1946}


imperial porphyry
3 5/8 high x 5 3/4 diameter


The word porphyry comes from the Latin 'Porpora' meaning purple and was first used to describe the famous Egyptian Imperial porphyry. It is a hard volcanic rock of a deep purple red colour with a peppering of tiny white crystals and has been prized by Emperors, Kings and Popes since ancient times.After the fourth century, the quarry was lost to sight for many centuries. The scientific members of the Fench Expedition under Napoleon sought it in vain, and it was only when the eastern Desert was reopened for study under Muhammad Ali that the site was rediscovered by Burton and Wilkinson in 1823.