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Winter Mausoleum, Door

Very nice work on the door to the Winter Mausoleum. The detail in this door is just astounding. Pull up the large size to see the details. I would be interesting to know what the heiroglyphics say, if anything. If anyone who can read heiroglyphics sees this photograph, I would be interested to know what is written at the top of the door.


Compare to the earlier Woolworth Mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY.



Also compare to the even earlier Tate Mausoleum in Bellafontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, MO


However, the door on the Tate Mausoleum is much less elaborate than the doors on the Woolworth and Winter Mausoleums, which are nearly identical.


Douglas Keister describes this door as: "Winter Mausoleum Door Allegheny Cemetery Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania This is the entry to the Winter mausoleum in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Emil Winter (1857-1935), was president of the Workingmen’s Savings Bank and Trust Company in Pittsburgh and was head of a number of metal production companies. He had a large overseas plant in Austria, for processing manganese ore and was one the founders of the Pittsburgh Steel Company. An exact twin of the mausoleum, built a decade earlier in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, is the resting place of five and dime store tycoon, F.W. Woolworth. Carved into the cavetto cornice above the door are a pair of vulture wings, representing maternal care. At the center is a round orb representing the sun and surrounding the sun are twin cobras, symbolizing death. The door is a veritable orgy of symbols. Marching around the door are a series of lotus blossoms symbolizing immortality , punctuated with 12 petaled flowers, a common decoration in both Eastern and Western art. On the left hand upper inset is a vulture symbolizing motherhood and maternal care; on the right is a falcon, the king of the birds an Egyptian symbol for the word of God. Surrounding the two birds is a parade of hieroglyphs including, geese, vipers, snakes, stars, crosses, moon signs, water signs and triangles. On the bottom is a row of pine apples (cones) that, in Egyptian mythology, symbolize fertility. The figure in the center appears to be a representation of Neferten, the god of fragrance. On top of his head, he wears a lotus blossom, the first flower to open in the morning and a symbol of immortality. In his right hand he carries an ankh one of the most recognizable Egyptian symbols. A number of different meanings have been attached to the ankh, including sexual union, enthusiasm for life, life after death and healing. But all are related to having a long passionate life and afterlife. The ankh is often depicted being carried by the Gods. It combines two Egyptian symbols, the T cross, or tau, (the symbol of Osiris) and the oval, (the symbol of Isis). The other two figures are, most likely, a blend of various gods and goddesses."



The two figures on either side of the central figure may represent "Ba" and "Ka." The "Ba" character, on the left with a duck (G29) on his head, may be a representation of the Egyptian concept of the soul of a person that departs the body at death, hence the handing of the ankh (symbol of life) from the central figure from the Ba. The "Ka" figure, with the U-figure (D28) on his head representives the living spark that separated living from non-living things and departed the body at death. The "Ka" figure may be personified by Meskhenet, the Godess of Childbirth, who breathed the "Ka" into the child at birth. "Ba" and "Ka" were two of five parts of the human soul in Egyptian theology.

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Taken on June 25, 2010