Master of the Italic Dates

Father Pitt is being a little facetious in bestowing the title “master” on this particular craftsman. He is not exceptionally good. We name him, as usual, from a readily identified feature of his style: he always carves the date in italic letters. And it is interesting to see his work in two different cemeteries, fairly far apart. Above, John Frew’s tombstone in the St. Clair Cemetery, Mount Lebanon. The unusual inset name is unique in what Father Pitt has seen of this craftsman’s work, and he suspects it represents, not an aesthetic decision, but an embarrassing correction of the deceased’s name. William Frew‘s, below, is more typical.

Now here are several tombstones in Hiland Cemetery, north of West View. Note that the name “Richey” or “Ritchey” is spelled two different ways, suggesting that John Frew’s tombstone is not the only one in his career where our artist misspelled a name.

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