History, grad school, and gravestones!
Fascinating example of the carver's thinking exposed on the spot. When he started to carve PELEG it looks like he thought he would have to carry it over to the second line, so he added a colon as a version of the standard double hyphen: PE:Then he decided he did have room so he cut the L after the double hyphen: PE:LBut then he decided he didn't quite have room after all so he reduced the EG to fit just above the baseline.Once upon a time I would have assumed that carvers routinely pencilled or chalked the lettering on the stone before they started with the chisel, but I've seen so many examples like this one that it's clear in most cases they did not.—RJO
I'll add this to the file of evidence related to the gravestone production process.The only times I've ever watched someone carve a gravestone have been my trips to the John Stevens shop, where the carvers paint the letters before carving. They certainly never end up making spacing decisions mid-line.
Post a Comment