Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Red Belemnite Fossil at Boston Public Library's Abbey Room

 Yesterday I introduced the Boston's Central Public Library building (McKim) and the ammonoid fossils found there. Today I will introduce another type of fossil I have not seen in the red Verona marble before.

On the second floor of the McKim Building is the Abbey Room (originally the Book Delivery Room where books were picked up by patrons). The walls of the room have fifteen panels depicting Sir Galahad's Quest for the Holy Grail painted by Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911). He used Alfred, Lord  Tennyson's story Idylls of the King for the basis of these paintings. The checkerboard pattern of tiles on the floor are white Istrian limestone and red Verona marble (limestone aka Rosso Verona).

While looking at the flooring tiles I spotted the familiar shape of a belemnite (part of extinct squid-like cephalopod). This creature existed in the Upper Jurassic Period (Oxfordian Stage). Tile was probably quarried from the Rosso Ammonitico Formation of Verona Province of Venetia Region of Italy.