We shared the following with those on our Only Obelisks mailing list.
Specimen marble obelisks probably first came about as a souvenir of the Grand Tour, allowing the purchaser to buy a decorative object that also serves as an object of conversation with your guests. Just imagine the tales of your travels unfolding through a fabulous obelisk. Many obelisks are made of marble, but when I think of specimen marble obelisks, I think of the ones with the inlays of multiple types and colors or marble, or even layers of different colored marbles.
The first photo is from the home of the decorator Michael S. Smith. What a fabulous way to fill a corner with a huge obelisk.
The middle photo is a room decorated by Timothy Corrigan. He is a great lover of obelisks, and can't have too many on this console table. I love the tall black and white striped one in the middle.
Obelisks on mantel are a classic decorative touch. These specimen marble obelisks are used by the decorator David Phoenix for Rose Tarlow.
We have some great examples at Only Obelisks:
This is a 19th century Italian Grand Tour obelisk in cream marble with brown marble insets. This stands 19 inches tall, and is very smart looking.
These are similar to the ones in the photo on the bottom. These are quite beautiful, and have both marbles and mother of pearl inlays. These are almost 22 inches tall.