Brocatelle Marble received that name because of the brocatelle fabric from Italy and the italian word "Broccato", which referred to a sewing technic called "broaching". During the Renaissance Italy was number one in Europe in the production of textiles, The famous Brocatelle was one of their creation and is characterized by a fabric with rich relief pattern.
Brocatelle marble was named after this fabric, because of the rich and foliated patterns that can be found all over its swirling veining surface.
The veining of this shelly marble makes this marble fragile and delicate to use, but it never prevent any artist from using it, thanks to its highly decorative qualities. This name refers to various shades :
First, there is the Jura quarries (French mountains in the North-East) , which produce two varieties: yellow & violet.
Then, there is the Pyrenées quarries, located in the mountains between France and Spain ; they produces a purple Brocatelle, called "Spain Brocatelle", popular in the 17th and 18th century, mostly used for inlay works of art and topping furnitures such as commodes.
Finally, there are also a mixed variety least exploited and more rare these days.
This marble was already used during the Pompei era. It was frequently used in the interiors the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the Petit Trianon at Versailles or the Opera Garnier in Paris.
J. Dubarry de Lasalle, Identifying marbles, Ed. H. Vial, Dourdan, 2000
J. Dubarry de Lasalle, Using marbles, Ed. H. Vial, Dourdan, 2005
P. Julien, Marbels, From Quarries to Palaces, ed. Le Bec en l'air, Manosque, 2006
Marmi antichi, collective work, ed. De Luca, Rome, 1998