James Slaven, Providence, RI, 1833
David Payson, Wiscassett, ME, 1814
These images are interesting data points in the angel vs. soul effigy debates. They certainly don't represent the souls of James Slaven and David Payson, unless there's an argument to be made for a male body/female soul pairing. And those ladies are most definitely female.
I might understand giant breasts for James' gravestone — after all, he was a baby (19 mo.), and there is a conflation of the spiritual succor and motherly love themes.
They're a little harder to explain on the gravestone of Colonel David Payson, age 53.
For more on breast imagery on early American gravestones, see this post.
Also of interest:
- According to James Blachowicz' From Slate to Marble, the Payson stone was carved by George T. Hope of Boston.
- The Slaven stone is one of the oldest in Providence embellished with the cross and Christogram common to 19th-century Catholic gravestones.