PORTER, Mary Winearls. What Rome Was Built With. A description of the stones employed in ancient times for its building and decoration. Henry Frowde. 1907.
Small 8vo. Original green cloth, gilt design of Roman coin with gilt triple fillet and lettering to front, gilt lettering to spine, t.e.g., green silk marker; pp. viii + 108; light bumping to extremities, very clean internally, very good. Provenance: presentation copy inscribed by the author to ffep: "Russell Chapman Clarke./ His first book and my/ first book!/ Polly Porter,/ August first nineteen hundred and eight".
First edition. This is the first book by Mary Winearls Porter (1886-1980), the noted British crystallographer who was one of the first people to consider the provenance of particular stones in cultural sites. Although not permitted a formal education by her parents, she was allowed to assist Sir Henry Miers, Professor of Mineralogy at Oxford, in cataloguing the Corsi Collection of Italian ornamental marbles. This pioneering work, written at the age of 21, is the fruit of this experience, and is a comprehensive and fascinating survey of the types of marble and stone used in Roman architecture.
Porter subsequently moved to the collection of ornamental stones at the Smithsonian Museum, and thence to Munich, Bryn Mawr and Heidelberg, gaining in reputation as a crystallographer before arriving back in Oxford, at Somerville College. She edited the Barker Index of Crystals with R.C. Spiller and worked with Dorothy Hodgkin.