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Tony Grist

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One More From Kemsing [Apr. 22nd, 2017|12:19 pm]
Tony Grist

Another headstone from Kemsing. Clearly from the same workshop- and using much the same pattern as the Wigzell stone- but, equally clearly, by two different hands- with the carving on the right appreciably less naturalistic than that on the left. I wonder whether master and apprentice worked side by side or separately- perhaps with an interval of years.

It's a double headstone, commemorating husband and wife, with a heart/cherub's head in the middle, linking the two roughly symmetrical halves at the top. Double headstones are common enough but I don't think I've seen anything like that linking motif before. It's like a Valentine's Day card in stone.

[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2017-04-22 02:28 pm (UTC)
A lovely example. Is that date 1747? It seems quite late for that skull design - I've seen similar skulls on Dorset chest tombs of around 1690-1710...

I don't think I've ever come across a double headstone with a linking motif.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-04-22 02:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, 1747. I wish now I'd spent a little more time studying this stone but I had to ensconce myself in a rose bush to take the picture and the clock was ticking...

It was only when I got home and downloaded the image that it dawned on me how unusual it was.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2017-04-22 02:40 pm (UTC)
I think that is truly unusual and rather lovely.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-04-22 02:43 pm (UTC)
There were a lot of stones from this workshop in the churchyard at Kemsing- and this- thanks to its sheltered position right up against the church wall- was the best preserved example.
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[User Picture]From: kishenehn
2017-04-22 03:52 pm (UTC)
I love these. Most of our graveyards over here are so generic by comparison ...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-04-22 04:11 pm (UTC)
I believe you have headstones of this age and quality over on the East Coast.

Things went wrong in the 19th century when masons started using imported rather than local stone and the imagery became prissy and sentimental- by which I mean weeping angels instead of death's heads.
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