Pietra paesina, the marble in the background of the plaques, is mined from the Arno area of Italy. Its literal translation, "landscape stone," aptly captures its fantastically colored and figured graining. This landscape pattern was created when the stone fractured from the earth's movement and water then passed through and reacted to the oxides in its chemical makeup. The marble can then be cut in such a way to exploit these patterns.
Small plaques of pietra paesina were popular for the decoration of cabinets and tables. Though primarily associated with Italian furniture, pietra paesina was also used in Germany.