Global Art & Artifacts

Chronicles of the Tombs: A Select Collection of Epitaphs, Preceded by an Essay On Epitaphs and Other Monumental Inscriptions, With Incidental Observations On Sepulchral Antiquities. 1864. T. Pettigrew

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The title pretty much sums up the content. But for you Bibliophiles and Antiquarians out there who love to collect, read and admire rare and old books, this is the book for you. In the future when you visit any tomb, whether in Britain, Egypt, China . . . or in between, you will have the history and reasons why epitaphs and inscriptions are written as they were.

 

It is a fascinating book, even with what one might believe is a morbid interest in antiquities: the epitaphs and inscriptions of ancient tombs, vaults, crypts, catacombs and sepulchers. After I got into it a bit, it was certainly worthy to be picked up now and again.

 

So little is written – especially in English – on this subject. Pettigrew traced inscriptions and epitaphs through different periods of history.

 

An original edition published in 1864 and is one of the firsts of this genre. It was printed by London Bell & Daldy as part of Bohn’s Antiquarian Library. Check out page 500; a notation written by Benjamin Franklin:

 

The body of B. Franklin, Printer, Like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be wholly lost; for it will, as he believed appear once more, in a new and more perfect edition, corrected and amended by the Author. He was born January 6, 1706. Died 17 – B.F.

 

See, I told you.

 

Leather bound hardback. Acceptable to Good – very readable – condition. 529 pages. A handwritten private epitaph is shown opposite the Preface.

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