Raking light, great carvings. Not mine

Took the kids for a walk in Burial Hill, Plymouth recently. Was a great sunny morning, perfect raking light. Cold though, up on top of that hill.

This is a well-known gravestone, among those who talk about such things. Patience Watson, d. 1767. Very nice carving, in fabulous shape.

 

 

 

These days Daniel is five-feet and change; so that’s a large stone above ground there. I wonder how deep it is below ground to be standing so long…


I went there for a decorative arts outing; but you end up reading the stones & get another angle too. This one is a sad story, a 2-week old child…

But the lettering! We owe Dave Fisher a trip to this cemetery when he comes up in June… https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/learning-from-lettering/

detail:

one more:

This one is a family – husband, wife and child, all died within 3 weeks of each other. Has a great skull, with wavy hair/feathering/what-have-you behind it. Scrolling leaves along the sides. 1730.

Here’s the same carver – better condition. Better lighting…same year.

This one’s 1715, it and the one above were encased in new stone at some point. Being the home of ancestor worship means Plymouth’s graveyard gets some attention over the years. So many old graveyards suffer from neglect…

I dug out a couple stones from elsewhere – Henry Messenger, 1686. He was a Boston joiner, this stone is in the Granary Burying Ground, a famous cemetery in Boston

This one I’ve never seen, photo was given to me by my friend Rob Tarule. Thomas Dennis, joiner of Ipswich. Died 1706.

 

Here’s an ancestor of ours; Ebenezer Fisk of Lexington Massachusetts. Died 1775. Yup, that Lexington. One of the battles was on his farm, but he was pretty old and apparently dying. so probably of no concern to him…other things on his mind I bet.


I haven’t read too much about gravestones, but there is an excellent book I recommend “Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and its Symbols, 1650-1815, by Allan I. Ludwig. Wesleyan Univ Press, 1966. My copy is dated 1999, so reprinted at that point.

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4 thoughts on “Raking light, great carvings. Not mine

  1. David Fisher pointed out a site called “folkstreams” a while ago that had, among many other films, a short documentary about a stone carver who used 18th century gravestones for inspiration. It’s worth watching.

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