Inscribed in Remembrance-Gravemarker lettering: form, function and recording VERY LIMITED STOCK – NOW ONLY £12.50!


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Lettering on gravestones and other gravemarkers, especially that of the Post-Reformation period, has been given little attention by researchers. It is barely mentioned in the literature on funerary memorials. Yet, it is a resource of immense importance in its own right and one that can inform several other disciplines including material culture, art history, archaeology, social history and genealogy. This book demonstrates the range of inscriptional forms and their history in an international context with examples from many countries including Britain, Ireland, continental Europe and North America. The author introduces research methods that can be applied to lettering on gravemarkers and concludes with advice on conservation.

Gravemarker lettering – a nation’s heritage
Burials and burial sites
Memorial forms
A short history of lettering
The inscriptional perspective
The masons
Materials and techniques
Lettering styles
Gravemarker chronology
General trends
A time of change – Roman lettering from archaic to incised
Informality and the copy-book – the development of script forms
Decadence, banality and opportunity
Design and interpretation
Ligatures and flourishes
Regional identity, influence, and inspiration
The rustic vernacular tradition
Recording and analysis
How to record
What to record
Statistical analysis
Case study

ISBN 978 1905569359
published by Wordwell
A5  174 pages
£25 £12.50
UK post free
USA and Canada £5 surface mail £7.50 airmail

Lettering on Gravemarkers-A guide to recording and analysis

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Lettering on gravestones and other funerary markers is an important part of the memorial, whether it is restricted to initial letters and a date or it forms and extensive text. From the earliest commemorative inscriptions to those of the present day, lettering styles and their interpretation have changed over time and from one place to another.

This book is a guide to recording gravemarker lettering styles and their attributes, illustrated by many examples from Britain, Ireland the rest of Europe, USA and Canada. It provides suggestions on how to interpret and analyse inscriptional lettering and what can be gleaned from it. Gravemarker lettering is an important part of our cultural heritage that should be preserved for future generations to study and enjoy.

Gravemarker inscriptions
Lettering terminology
Lettering styles
roman capitals
roman capitals and lower case
block serifs
Letterform attributes
Recording methods
Reading and recording data
Simple statistics
More advanced statistical methods
Bibliography and websites

ISBN 978 0 9540891 2 2
paperback  A5  122 pages
UK £2.50
USA and Canada £5 surface mail £7.50 airmail


Vernacular Memorials-Creativity in the graveyard

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Most studies of gravestone art tend to focus on memorials created by the more skilled masons and elaborate on their ar­tistic or aesthetic qualities. Similarly, the few works that discuss tombstone letter­ing place strong emphasis on those that are considered to be of some artistic or creative merit and ignore those that are by less skilled cutters. In so doing, a resource of cultural significance is overlooked. In this book a gravemarker or inscription that may well have little merit from an ar­tistic perspective has been given its place alongside examples of artistry and crafts­manship. Each has its value as a reflec­tion of a personal situation, as an expres­sion of a cultural tradition, or as a record of some other aspect of the environment in which it was created.

This book celebrates the inventiveness shown by those who have made and will make gravemarkers without inhibition, not necessarily having concern for what is traditionally thought of as ‘right’ or ‘good’.

Vernacular memorials–background and definition
Early markers from the Romans to the seventeenth century
Poverty, naivity and creativity
Regulation and restraint in Britain and mainland Europe
Necessity and invention in the Celtic Fringe
The ubiquitous Christian cross
Old traditions and new materials in the New World

ISBN 978 0 9540891 5 3
paperback  24.5 X 18.5 cms  102 pages (many in colour)
UK £4
USA and Canada £5 surface mail £7.50 airmail

Lettering on gravemarkers in Britain and Ireland

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The graveyards of Britain and Ireland contain a wealth of culturally important material in the form of gravemarkers. The of choice lettering, style, interpretation and layout tells us much about the individuals who carved the letters, their skill and both the historical and cultural context within which the inscriptions were crafted. Lettering on gravemarkers is rarely seen as an important resource in the field of material culture. This book illustrates and explains gravemarker lettering with over 160 examples inscribed in stone, metal and wood from throughout Britain and Ireland. It provides the basis for further study.

Stone, metal and wood
Letterforms and styles
Two thousand years of commemoration
Local and regional cultures
Initial stones and ligatures
Breaking with tradition
Layout and design
Recording and conservation

ISBN 978 1905569540
published by Wordwell
paperback  18.5 X 24.5 cms  122 pages
UK post free
USA and Canada £5 surface mail £7.50 airmail

Gravestones of the Basques-Atlas of illustrations


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Louis Colas was a French archaeologist who, at the beginning of the twentieth century, travelled throughout the French Basque region on foot, bicycle and mule studying, measuring and drawing funerary memorials and other artefacts of historical interest. His main focus was on gravemarkers, especially the characteristic Basque discoid stelae which abound in south-western France. He emphasised the importance of inscriptions and iconography and their place in Basque culture.

The outcome of his work was a large publication in two volumes, one of which includes his drawings, together with a few photographs. The original limited edition volumes have become rare. This is a facsimile of volume 2, the Atlas, with 1300 illustrations, together with some introductory sections and translations. By making Colas’s work more accessible, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in funerary memorials or inscriptional lettering.

Louis Colas and the book
Basque gravestones
Basque lettering
The gravestones today
Translations and facsimile
Introduction to Labourd
Introduction to Basse-Navarre
Introduction to Soule

ISBN 978 0 9540891 4 6
paperback  A4  428 pages (a few in colour)
UK £5
USA and Canada £10 surface mail £18 airmail