Question: This autumn I was walking through an old cemetery in my home
town. I saw an emblem on a gravestone
that was of a broken wheel? I was wondering
if this meant the individual was a wheelwright by occupation. I wish I had taken a photo of it to send.
Answer: At first I
thought you might have a gravestone with the emblem a Rotary organization, and
it might have had some damage the way you described it. According to Douglas Keister’s book Stories
in Stone – A field guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography. (New York, N.Y., 2004) it is actually
something quite different. The “wheel”
represents both progress and eternity. Therefore a broken wheel in this case
represents the end of the life of that person.