Suzanna Jayne - 1776, Marblehead, MA
Where do we start to try to describe what may very well be the most eccentric and beautiful gravestone ever carved in the United States??
We feel that the level of symbolic language going on in this one stone carving rival almost anything in the world for richness and extraordinary beauty. We have also never seen anything remotely like it - it also looks pretty cool!
The hooped snake represents eternal renewal. The skeleton, wearing a laurel, holds a staff and is a graphic representation of Death. The cherubs in the upper corners and the bats in the lower corners are representative of the two paths that may be followed after death. The Death figure holds a sun and moon in his hands, another symbol of cyclical renewal, possibly representing the cycles of the seasons, day and night - but most of all, life and death.
Sadly, the moon has been badly vandalized and needed to mostly be recreated, a sign that these unique and priceless carvings are under threat from more than just harsh weather.
Click on the T-shirt photo to see a closeup of this remarkable gravestone image.