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A gravestone with a broken wheel carved upon it.

(Cemeteries) Permanent link

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

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.

Posted by David Lambert at 12/21/2010 09:21:04 PM | 

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