Campan marble

The Campan marble is a type of marble taken from the quarries of the Campan site located in the high valley of Ardour in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées. There are different varieties, all of which can be identified through the marked dark green veins - the Campan rubané marble, the green Campan marble, the pink and green Campan marble, the Campan grand mélange marble and a variety of red Griotte marble.
This material was used since the 1st century B.C. and during the Middle Ages. However, the production was truly increased during the reign of François Ier. The Campan marble was applied as a precious stone or a jewel and decorated the front façades with other polychromatic marbles.
The use of the Campan marble was particularly important during the reign of Louis XIV who added this material abundantly in the palace of Versailles. This material echoed an elaborate royal symbolism - the shapes referred to a victorious Antiquity while the material implied a kind of national pride. This style continued during the 19th century through the production of furniture and fireplaces made out of Campan marble. Nowadays, the quarries are closed and protected.

Yellow Lamartine marble

Yellow Lamartine marble, which takes its name from the local owner, is quarried in Pratz in the Haut-Jura which the most important is the quarry of Champied, operated by the Company of Molinges marble works between 1845 and 1930 under the direction of Nicolas Gauthier.

It is less a marble than a marble stone yellow with red or purple veins. Despite these aesthetic qualities, its high price brought its abandonment in the 1930s, which however makes this marble more precious.

Indeed, the quarry of Champied is an open pit requiring an important and expensive work of elimination of the first layer of rock whose result in a large but unusable quantity of rubbles.


The Algerian Onyx - not to be confused with onyx, a variety of agate - is a kind of "marble" used in Europe in the second half of the 19th century after the onyx quarries in Algeria were rediscovered in 1849 by Jean Baptiste Del Monte, a Carrara marble manufacturer, during archaeological excavations.

From then onyx is used to make works of art, clocks and sculptures as the creations of the Company of Algerian Onyx marbles which will be very appreciated during the World’s Fair of 1878. During the Second Empire, several sculptors will also use onyx, such as Charles Cordier and his famous series called "Negros".

More rarely, because of its very high cost, the onyx will be used for luxurious interior architectural elements such as the handrail of the large staircase in the Opera House in Paris or some of the sumptuous decorations of the Hôtel de la Païva in Paris, named after the socialite who built it from 1856 to 1865 on the Champs-Elysées.