Monday, November 3, 2008

Candles and Mysteries

In the Boston area, most mid-18thc stones share basic design elements. There will be a death's head or sould effigy on the tympanum, accompanied by floral or other organic-y borders and a roundish finial design.

Things are different in Rhode Island.

There's a much wider variation, especially in tympanum designs. While most soul effigies and death's heads in Boston are variations of a carver's signature design, lots of stones in Rhode Island have images that are either unique to indivdual stones or very rare.

One such stone is the Thomas Westcot stone (1745) in Providence:
Both the shape and the central image are distinctive. At first, I thought it was a bed, but now I think it is a table with a candle and candle snuffer.
Anyone have a better reading?

The Kathrin Hawkings stone (1749) has a similar, but not identical design.
I suppose that could be a candle, but what is the circle? A mirror, perhaps? Why the forked handle/foot? Is it just another type of candle snuffer?
I'm stumped.

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