Death's Head

It's that time of year again...

...the week of Halloween.

I invite you to join me for a walk through a New England grave site and I'll tell you a little story...

These grave markers were used by the New England Puritans who were adamantly against using religious symbols, such as angels and cherubs or crosses, on their headstones or graves, nor did they use religious symbols in their meetinghouses. They did not want any human form attributed to the spiritual beings such as God or angels.

This decorative motif on Seventeenth Century grave markers was the “death’s head.

A death’s head was a stylized skull, often with wings and/or crossed bones.

Some have speculated that winged skulls were intended to symbolize a combination of physical death and spiritual regeneration.

The death’s head, a non~religious symbol, was the first imagery employed in gravestone carving.  There were many variations of the death’s head motif.  The images depended on the preferred style of the carver. 

Like other craftsmen of that era, gravestone carvers had special techniques and skill.  Their style was almost their “calling card” and over time, historians have been able to identify many of these carvers.

What is your calling card? 
Can you be identified?

Happy Halloween Friends!

Ciao amici,




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