Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gravestone of the Day: Job Broune

Job Broune, 1678, Phipps St. Cemetery, Charlestown, MA

Ye . 18TH . 1678


Robert J. said...

What a gorgeous little stone. A perfect inheritor of 2000 years of letter-carving tradition. Looks like the work of "the stonecutter of Boston."

According to one genealogy website, little Job was the son of William and Marie (Goodin) Browne of Charlestown.

Robert J. said...

Some other details can be seen on close examination.

As we noted once before I think, the capital I's are dotted -- an unusual feature that continues to puzzle me.

But it shouldn't be thought that the style of these stones is somehow "primitive" or that "he doesn't know how to use lowercase letters," or some such thing. In fact the style represents quite a few conscious design choices. He clearly did know how to use lowercase letters, since there's a lowercase "e" specifically inserted to form "Ye." And the use of the middle dot (·) as a word separator is quite specific to the inscriptional tradition (rather than the printing tradition), and it can be seen in all-cap Roman stone carving from 1700 years before.