1930's Funeral Home Advertising Bubble Glass Crucifix
This piece combines so many things I admire: unique advertising, a small family business, bubble glass, religious iconography, and funereal collectibles. Marked with the name of the Jupina Funeral Home in McAdoo PA, it features a round glass half dome covering a white, somehow ghostly crucifix, backed with a cardboard circle that's flocked with fabric under the dome of the glass. The back shows some deterioration, as does the metal rim, but overall it is in very nice shape. it's got a copyright date of 1938, and was likely given by the Home to the relatives of a deceased individual cared for by the Jupina family.
You may notice we carry a number of items associated with funerals and death. Some people find this morbid, but to me, it's an extension of spirituality, honoring the final stage of personal evolution and harkening back to an age when death was an intimate companion of life. The phrase we use for these items, mementos mori, is a Latin term that translates basically to reminders of mortality. In medieval times this consideration of death was a practiced Christian philosophy, as the consideration of life's temporal nature allowed detachment from earthly things, and in our more recent Victorian past, the physical mementos became more specific and individual, as a way of remaining connected with loved ones who'd passed on. People collected and made jewelry from the hair of the beloved deceased, for example, and wore it daily during an extended bereavement. Today, we generally prefer to sweep death under the rug, but I can't help being attracted to the older way of approaching it, with a certain aesthetic embrace.