Tag: Ritchey (Rebecca)

  • 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.

  • Rebecca Ritchey Tombstone, Hiland Cemetery

    departed this life,
    December 27, 1838.
    Aged 42 years 11 months
    & 4 days.

    Here is a work by a stonecutter whom we shall call the Master of the Italic Months, from one of the most distinctive features of his style. He also writes the name of the deceased in all capitals (not small capitals), and he places a comma after the words “departed this life.” He adds an ornamental dash below the inscription. His lettering is not nearly as neat as that of the Master of the Erratic Centering, who also cut many stones in the Hiland Cemetery; but, on the other hand, his centering is a bit better.