October 6, 2018 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
HERE LYES THE BODY OF
MR. WILLIAM SINCLEAR WHO
DIED JULY THE 4th. 1753
AGED 77 YEARS
He WAS BORN in IRELAND
IN THE COUNTY OF DOWN IN
PARISH OF DRUMBLOO, HE LIVED
IN NEW ENGLAND 24 YEARS
While skulls are ubiquitous in New England gravestones, whole skeletons are relatively uncommon. Today’s stone for William Sinclear (b. 1675/6 – d. 1753), which can be found, like Lydia Hall in the Old Center cemetery in Spencer, Mass – check out the Kenmore diner there – is a lovely exception. Here’s the entry on FindaGrave.
This stone, carved by William Codner, has a long thin timpanum (the arch part at the top of a gravestone) enclosing a nicely rendered full skeleton in repose.
Alan Ludwig, in his book Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650–1815 (1966) uses the Sinclear stone as an example of artwork from broadside being duplicated on gravestones.
Here’s the 1691 image:
And here’s a close-up from the stone:
If you really enjoy the reclining skeleton, the taphologic replica company Gravestone Girls sells a plaque for $45.
Unfortunately, between when the above photo was taken by Daniel Farber and a later photo by Barbara Rotundo in 1969, the stone suffered serious damage. The right border panel and the rightmost part of the inscription were lost.