Monday, April 16, 2012

Taphophile Tragics # 17


Last week I showed you a pair of Kohanin Hands from Rookwood. This week I am still in Rookwood but over on the Lidcombe side were the very first interments were made in 1867. I am a beginner at this funerary symbolism lark, but I am going from lists of symbols freely available via Google.

The wreath is a symbol of eternal life, with no beginning and with no end. The crown indicates victory, that is, triumph over death. But why angels? Do angels escort us on our journey to the Promised Land? And why two of them? And why are their eyes closed? And are their fingers pointing upward to the one true God in Heaven?

Any ideas?

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Welcome to the 17th week of Taphophile Tragics.

Your contribution is most welcome. Please ensure that you include some details of the cemetery in which you took your photographs, and link directly to your post, rather than simply to your blog in general. Mr Linky opens at 10pm Monday, Sydney time (GMT+10). When you can, please visit the other contributing bloggers to show your appreciation of their endeavours. Due to time zone variations and overcrowded schedules, some contributions are made later than Tuesday/Wednesday.

We are working with the Linky with thumbnails, and displaying the oldest entry first, with no randomising.

15 comments:

JM said...

Fantastic! What a great shot. Sorry I have no answers, Julie.

Gene Anderson said...

Was this the grave of a child? They appear to be small angels or cherubs. The crown represents God as well as victory over death, and the cherubs are pointing towards heaven. The closed eyes may be a holdover from Victorian times, when a sleeping child symbolized death.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Interesting pair of angels! I have seen these smaller angels on children's graves but also on female graves. What I was wondering - why are they both holding a wreath in their hands? Is it a grave for more than one?

Julie said...

I will check out this grave site more thoroughly on my next visit to Rookwood on 6th May. I do not think I paid any attention to the inscription. *slap* ... *slap* ...

NixBlog said...

Lovely shot of this wonderfully weathered headstone Julie. Sleep is a euphemism for death, hence perhaps the closed eyes. Cherubs and angels always feature prominently in cemeteries as they are the Christian equivalent of the ancient "Psychopomp" - "guide of souls", which was often the messenger god Hermes (Mercury).

NixBlog said...

PS: Thanks for hosting!

Sondra said...

Hmmm you know Ive never taken much time to search out the meanings of the graphics on headstones except a few organizational motiffs...I believe the Cherub is escorting prayers up to the Gods..or God.
A really good photo...I have so much crapeolia going on this week, I was unable to get a post together..But Ill be back asa I can see straight again!

Joe said...

That looks like quite an ancient symbol in your post Julie. Had some trouble with "linky" this time. Would you like me to have another go at getting the thumbnail to appear properly?

Julie said...

S'okay, Joe. I have relinked it for you.

Deb said...

Wonderful colouring on this beautifully weathered stone with those shades of green and brown. Some believe that we all have a guardian angel whose last task is to accompany our soul to heaven or hell. These two angels seem very clear about the final destination of this particular soul.

CaT said...

it becomes boring; but i check your posts out tomorrow... its late.. :)

CaT said...

are you sure their eyes are closed? to me they dont look closed! couldnt it be that by age it seems the eyes are closed but actually they arent?
anyways, as you see, i only have questions too, no answers... :(

Gene Anderson said...

Just saw this on a local news station: QR Codes on Graves. I guess it was only a matter of time. But I doubt there will be any Rosetta Stone to make sense of them to far in the future archeologists.

Julie said...

I have just done the 'rounds' of you all. What a fascinating bunch of posts you find each week. Great fun reading them all.

Julie said...

Gene, that QR barcode is a sign of the times. I will run with it next week, if that is okay with you?