Category Archives: Symbolism

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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Disguise

On this plain rounded-top white marble tablet in the Springhill Cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee, the anchor cross is carved into the oval inset at the top of the gravestone. The anchor cross is an ancient Christian symbol that has been … Continue reading

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Slight Variations on a Theme: The Door

The door as a motif in funerary art symbolizes mystery.  The door is the pathway from the earthly realm to the next.  In all five examples from mausoleum doors, a mourning figure waits at the door.  In some cases her … Continue reading

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