A carved alabaster apostle figure, English, early 20th century. Some old repairs. Height 65 cm
alabaster. Alabaster is soft natural stone used for statuary, with a similar appearance to marble, but easier to work with. As it is softer than marble, an item made from alabaster can be scratched with a metal object, and an alabaster item does not polish to a high surface gloss like marble.
Alabaster objects can be semi-translucent. Alabaster occurs in a pure white form and also with veining from dirt. Colours vary from white through yellow and pink to brown. The veining is usually green or black but can be multicoloured.
Being semi-translucent, alabaster is often used for the bowls of figural lamps, with the figure itself being either alabaster or marble.
The buyers premium is an additional percentage charge on the hammer price of the item, imposed by the auction house to cover administrative costs. The buyers premium percentage varies between auction houses, with a range of 12.5% to 22%.