Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Sarah Gould

Sarah Gould, 1722, Amesbury, MA

ER ye 31 1722
AND IN ye [29?] year


Robert J. said...

The crossed capital I (as in DIED) is a curiosity I've seen a few times. I don't know of any typographic precedents, but if someone else does I'd be glad to learn.


Fionnuala said...

Harold Mytum,in his paper on External Commemoration in Britain, Ireland and New England shows two examples of 17th-century headstones bearing the crossed I. This paper is available on-line: Post-Medieval Archaeology 40/1 (2006), 96-100. George Thomson who carries out research on inscriptional paleography has an interesting paper also available on-line: Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 131 (2001), 349–373. My own area of interest is in 18th-century headstones and my study area is Dublin, Ireland. I have not, so far, come across the crossed I on any headstones in Ireland.

Robert J. said...

Very interesting, thank you. The crossed I must be a known orthographic variant, if an uncommon one. (Perhaps like the A with v-shaped crossbar.) I don't know if the carver of this stone has been identified (or can be, since it's so plain), but an obvious question would be to ask whether other stones by this carver also display the crossed I.

(This is one of those cases where a mechanism to tag online photos in, say, the Farber Collection, would be really great. You could have a kind of crowd-sourced analysis, with people adding descriptions they found interesting: crossed I, dropped 8, etc.)