A small hand-carved alabaster taper candlestick measuring 2 1/8" across the round base, 1 1/4" across the rim (with a 5/8" opening for candle) and 6" high. The maker is unknown and the condition is very good.
Alabaster is a word often used to describe both gypsum (hydrous sulfate of calcium) and calcite (carbonate of calcium). Gypsum alabaster is a light, nearly white-colored stone so soft that you can scratch it with your fingernail whereas calcite is much harder. The calcite variety is also known as onyx, which is a banded variety of the oxide mineral chalcedony, a member of the quartz family. Agate and onyx are both varieties of layered chalcedony but differ in the form of the layered bands embedded in the stone. Agate has ringlike, circular, asymmetrical bands and onyx has parallel bands.