Tag: Frew (William)

  • 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.

  • Frew Monument, Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh

    Oil baron William Frew died in 1880, and this monument was put up in 1882. The sculpture, of the mourner-and-consoler genre, is a very good one, if a little chunky in the 1880s manner. Father Pitt does not know the meaning of the motto “Straight down the middle,” but he suspects it has something to do with drilling for oil. He would be grateful if someone could enlighten him. UPDATE: A kind comment from Lisa Speranza (see below) tells us that the words refer—of course—to golf, a game of which Mr. Frew was very fond.

    The monument is surrounded by mature boxwoods, the scent of which old Pa Pitt finds delightful. Some people hate it.