Category Archives: Symbolism

Merlin, On a Pedestal

  Merlin can be found perched high atop a monument in the Forest Home Cemetery at Forest Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  This is the centerpiece monument in a circle of burials of members of the United Ancient Order … Continue reading

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On a Pedestal

HENRY W. HILDEBRAND BORN FEB. 9. 1836 DIED AUG. 15. 1876. WILLIAM H. BORN JULY 25, 1860. DIED SEPT. 3. 1860. LOUISA E. BORN OCT. 21, 1861. DIED NOV. 9. 1861.   GEORGE H. BORN NOV. 1, 1865. DIED (illegible) … Continue reading

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The soul effigy with a wig

In Memory of Mr JOHN CROWNINSHIELD Son of Mr. Clefford CROWNINSHIELD Obt. June 1 1777 AE t. 49 Years.   Gr-Gr-Grandfather: Johann Caspar Richter Gr-Grandfather: Johannes Caspar von Kronenschieldt  Gr-Grandmather: Elizabeth Allen Grandfather: John Crowninshield 1696 – 1761 Grandmother: Antiss … Continue reading

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Death’s dusky hand

Andrew Erkenbrecher July 4, 1821 January 3, 1885 Andrew Erkenbrecher was a German immigrant who came to America with his parents when he was a child.  He was quite industrious and worked in a series of jobs until he founded … Continue reading

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Light the Way

The door as a motif in funerary art symbolizes mystery.  The door is the pathway from the earthly realm to the next.  In this example, the mystery seems to be lifted—here the mourning figure appears to leading the way to … Continue reading

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The Anchor and the Cross

Often when found on a gravestone, the anchor represents an ancient Christian symbol. Early Christians used the symbol in catacomb burials beneath the city of Rome.  There it was used as a disguised cross.  The anchor also served as a … Continue reading

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Worldly Achievement

The modern Romanesque mausoleum in the Rosehill Cemetery at Chicago has carved on it the laurel leaf. The vine starts half way up the rounded arch and leads to the top of the mausoleum where it culminates in a square … Continue reading

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