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his part of George Allen Sr.’s estate, which had “descended and come unto me together with Gabriel and William my brothers and my sister Lavinia Allen children of my honored father.”16 There is no mention at all of brother George. It seems reasonable to assume that that was because he was dead already when George Allen Sr.’s estate was probated. Introduction to the Work of George Allen Jr. In many cases, researchers can map the work of a single carver on a chronological chart to determine the beginning of a career and the periods of greatest productivity based on the way that death dates on the gravestones cluster. George Allen Jr.’s small body of work is insufficient to allow this kind of analysis. However, given the single probate payment for gravestones in 1762, when he was eighteen and already a skilled carver, for a stone dated August 6, 1760, it would be safe to assume that he began carving by the age of sixteen, which was not uncommon in the eighteenth century. Therefore, stones dating from around 1759 would probably be his earliest work and all prior stones backdated. The other clustering not available from such a small sampling is that which would, in fact, indicate the locus from which his work was radiating. In his particular case, this statistical information is more important than chronological data since his work appears in three rather distinct, if not somewhat distant and disjointed, sites: Providence, R.I./Rehoboth, Massachusetts (adjacent to each other then); old Wrentham, Massachusetts; and east Worcester County, Massachusetts. This wide distribution suggests that George Allen Jr. may have been an itinerant carver. Interestingly, the two carvers collaborating on Allen Stones, John New and Samuel Fisher, were also from Wrentham, and perhaps it was Allen’s home base. The repertoire of George Allen Jr. indicates that he had mastered a variety of styles, including effigies, skulls, and borders in order to satisfy a clientele from a variety of religious economic, political, and aesthetic persuasions. Despite a small body of work, the stones demonstrate George Allen Jr.’s facility with these conventional elements and reveal much about what a young carver would have been expected to learn in his earliest years: Effigy Type Stones I have no difficulty accepting the Augustus Dexter stone, 1763, Providence, as the work of George Allen Jr. as explained earlier. Three elements on this stone become critical for identifying other work as his: 1) the impishly drawn mouth; 2) a bulbous nose, and button, bulging eyes; and 3) the simple foliate border, also derived from his father. The stone for

Profile for Chris Davis

Markers XXVII  

Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies

Markers XXVII  

Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies

Profile for cvdavis
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