payments must surely have been for gravestones. Indeed, John Dexterâ€™s stone is an elaborate work from the hand of George Allen Sr., stone carver of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. As I had hoped, next to it is a smaller, simpler stone for his son, Augustus. Both Dexters died within a short time of each other in 1763. The Augustus Dexter stone (Figure 1) has an effigy very much like, but sufficiently different from the work of George Allen Sr. to distinguish it decisively, and furthermore, the lettering is not by the hand of George Allen Sr. or any other carver of the time. The conclusion is obvious: father and son, George and George Jr., carved stones for father and son, John and Augustus, the one more elaborate and more expensive than the other: a perfect fit. After this fortuitous find there was no other single piece of verifiable documentation for George Allen Jr. Still, these two stones provided a distinct effigy type and lettering set for determining George Allen Jr.â€™s work and for establishing collaborations.9 Using stones such as these with established origins as benchmarks illustrates one of the most important scholarly tools for those engaged in carver studies.
Fig. 1. Augustus Dexter, 1763. Providence, Rhode Island.
Fig. 2. Jonadab Moor, 1760. Bolton, Massachusetts.
In contrast, the next episode in identifying the work of George Allen Jr. illustrates the amount of sheer luck involved in carver studies. Curious about a border design on a 1760 stone for Jonadab Moor in Bolton, Massachusetts, northeast of Worcester (Figure 2), Laurel Gabel, Research
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