Posts Tagged ‘tassel’

Those of you who have been reading for a while are aware of my affection for zinc monuments, or zinkers. While they were being sold, they were marketed as “white brass,” but, really, they’re zinc. Weather and age give them a unique patina that ranges from gray to a pale blue, depending on how the light is hitting it. They aren’t terribly common, but most cemeteries that date from the later 19th or early 20th centuries have at least one. Once you locate one, you will never mistake that look for anything else.

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I found this one at Strongsville Cemetery. I like the way that the monuments ape the symbolism and style of the more expensive cemetery monuments of the day but have the interchangeable base panels to be able to add the names and information for more family members as time passes.

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We attribute a lot of symbolism to funerary art: we assume that most art means something. Fingers point heavenward to show the soul ascending, willow trees evoke mourning, and an hourglass reminds us that time passes rapidly. But some other funerary art seems to serve no symbolic purpose beyond allowing the stonecutter to say “hey, look what I can do! I can take this hard stone and make it look like soft fabric.” I can’t think of a better example of this than the use of stone pillows and tassels top of monuments.

In Cleveland’s Woodland Cemetery, the Benedict family monument features a large open book sitting on a pillow of stone with giant stone tassels on its corners.


This is a smaller version of the tasseled border from Lake View Cemetery.


Finally, we have the couch inside the Blocher monument at Forest Lawn Cemetery, with its soft lines and tassels.

Blocher 2

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