The Bonds of Marriage

Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

In the tree-stump tombstone above, two hands emerge from the opening in the bark of the tree.  The two hands are depicted clasping a chain.  The hand at the top is a male’s hand; the shirt cuff is square, unadorned, and masculine.  The hand below is clearly the hand of woman because of the fluted and lace sleeve. 
 
There are seven links in the chain that the couple holds between them.  It could possibly be a coincidence, or more likely holds Biblical significance.  The number seven shows up more often in the Bible than any other number.  The number seven first shows up in the Book of Genesis.  The creation story tells us that God created the Earth in seven days and on the seventh day, God rested.  God’s work was done in seven days.  Thus the number seven has come to represent completeness. 
 
Here the seven-link chain symbolizes the tender bonds of marriage.  The motif is an expression of the marriage being a path to completeness on Earth, that the couple holds onto even to death, “unto death do us part.”
 

Henry and Ella Smith Tombstone, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

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