Friday, May 7, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Ruth Mason Sheldon

Ruth Mason Sheldon, 1818, Providence, RI
In Memory of
the beloved Wife of
and Daughter of the late Aaron Mason, Esq.
who, in full Assurance
of inheriting the Divine Promises,
fell asleep in Jesus on the 23d Day
of June, 1818, aged 39, 1 Month,
and 23 Days.

"Blush not, recording marble, to proclaim
Whate'er was mortal of a spotless name,
Here lies entombed; the immortal spark above
Glows unextinguished in the realms of love.
And in new worlds enjoys the enraptured bliss,
That crowns the virtues of the just in this,
And just she was, if e'er imperfect man,
By Heaven's kind aid, accomplish'd Heaven's plan:
Each human virtue triumph'd in her soul,
And faith's ennobling signet stamped the whole."

"Blessed are they which do hunger and 
thirst after Righteousness: for the shall 
be filled."


The Tingley & Sons monument company of Providence, RI had an engraving machine that could produce different fonts. They were not shy about using several styles on a single gravestone. I don't have precise statistics, but I imagine that mechanizing the process made long epitaphs cheaper (the Stevens shop charged by the letter until at least the 1780s). The new process made it easy to churn out stones with lengthy epitaphs.

This is also another example of the use of the term "marble" as a synonym for "monument," even when that monument is made of slate.

1 comment:

Riondo Ribeiro Sculptor said...

I hand carve lettering in Stone, Marble, Granite, & Wood. Do you have an information on the Tingley Brothers? Thank you. Riondo Ribeiro Sculptor