Monthly Archives: January 2013

Winged Cherub’s Head

The bronze gravestone of Harry Albright is adorned by a winged cherub.  The patina on the cherub’s face gives the image an almost haunting look.  The winged cherub was a symbol that became popular in the 18th Century.  Winged cherubs replaced the stark and morbid … Continue reading

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Oval Chest Tomb

Chest tombs which were common in 19th Century American graveyards were also referred to as false crypts because the coffin was not inside the chest tomb, but buried underneath underground.  This chest tomb is not in the traditional box-shaped false crypt but … Continue reading

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Chest Tomb

Chest tombs were first popularized in Europe.  The tombs resembled a chest or trunk, often with an effigy of the deceased lying in repose on top.  The Tomb of Vasco de Gama (c.1460-1524) buried at the Monastery of Jeronimos at … Continue reading

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The Sarcophagus Tomb

Sarcophagus tombs are designed to look like coffins.  Most often they are set on a platform or a base.  The tomb is often embellished with ornamentation and nearly always has feet–but the “coffin” is empty–just an empty symbol of the … Continue reading

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Venetian Gothic

With the exception of the ornamentation on the top of the Spotts Mausoleum, two nearly identical mausoleums, one in the Cave Hill Cemetery at Louisville, Kentucky, and the other in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee, were designed and … Continue reading

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The Crown

The crown on the gray granite block gravestone of Cornelia McDonald in the Cave Hill Cemetery at Louisville, Kentucky, represents victory.  The crown is a symbol of glory and reward and victory over death.  The reward comes after life and the … Continue reading

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Egyptian or Greek?

The most famous sculpture of a sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza outside of Cairo, Egypt.  In the Egyptian tradition the benevolent mythological creature has the head of a man and the body of a lion.  The Greek sphinx, … Continue reading

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The Curse of King Tut

The Darius Miller Mausoleum in the Rosehill Cemetery at Chicago, Illinois, is a magnificent example of Egyptian Revival architecture found in many large urban cemeteries. Egyptian ornamentation can be divided into three categories—architectural, geometric, and natural.  The mausoleum features–the cavetto … Continue reading

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Classical Mourning Figure

In the center of the Greenbush Cemetery at Lafayette, Indiana, is a monument erected to commemorate the dedication and founding of the cemetery association on February 12, 1848.  The pedestal is topped with a classical bronze mourning figure. The figure holds an … Continue reading

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The Square and the Compasses

The metal marker from the Forest Home Cemetery at Forest Park, Illinois, marks the grave of a Mason.  It is the metal reproduction of what is perhaps the most recognizable emblem of the Freemasons, the square and two compasses.  In … Continue reading

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