Giallo Tigrafo is a rare marble that the ancient Romans called “marmor corinthium”, because it was wrongly thought to be only quarried in the region of Corinth. On its polished surface, the marble has pockets of a cloudy yellowyorange colour surrounded by dark round veins, which look like the pelt of a tiger or leopard (Fig 1). A number of blocks of the giallo tigrato were used to decorate the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Andrea della Valle, Rome, but it was used sparingly over the centuries, probably because the location of the quarries were unknown postantiquity, and so any examples were generally re-carved from a small number of antique sources. In 1824 samples of the marble were discovered near Monte Calvo, north-east of Rome, thereby providing a fresh source of this rare marble. The beast is depicted seated still, poised, its had turned and its ears pricked and alert. Its eyes are constructed of reverse-painted glass which gives them their bright colouring that ignite the appearance of the wild animal.