Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gold Spire

This is the top of one of the pillars framing the entrance to the Jefferson Family Cemetery at Monticello. At a distance, this gate spire seemed ordinary. But after moving closer, I became intrigued by it.

Jefferson was a collector of ornate objects. He filled his estate with architectural characteristics and decorative items that would tell a story to onlookers, whether pieces were from Lewis and Clark's explorations of the American frontier or portraits of important figures, such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin or Isaac Newton.

Thus, it isn't surprising that his love of ornate elements would be extended to his final resting place as well. This gate spire is gold-tipped. Gold is a repeated design element on the cemetery fencing, and a featured part of the family crest of the front of the gate. Even in death, Jefferson still rested in luxury.

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