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[mass noun] Pictorial mosaic work using semi-precious stones, typically for table tops and other furniture:‘panels of pietra dura’[as modifier] ‘a Florentine pietra dura top’
- ‘Dating back thousands of years, Chinese gem art has evolved into one of the world's most highly regarded pietra dura art forms.’
- ‘A perfect case in point was the fabulous Florentine pietra dura table top offered by Christie's on 9 June.’
- ‘The other way in which hardstones were used to great effect in Prague was in the production of pietra dura pictures and cabinets.’
- ‘A expert craftsman can use it not only to imitate pietra dura but also to achieve almost painterly effects.’
- ‘Always eager to experiment, he also perfected pietra dura mosaic.’
Early 19th century: from Italian (plural pietre dure), literally hard stone.
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