Monday, June 14, 2010

More scans from my Post Mortem Portrait Archive (Part Five)

Here are a few more images from my collection. They include tintypes from the 1860's and 70's, CDV's and Cabinet photos from the 1870's to 1890's. We often find that the child is posed with or on furniture, either in the photo-studio or at home.

This early tintype has the baby seated in a chair against plain white wall. Sometimes, when the baby needed support for photography, the mother or a studio assistant would place a black hood or cape over themselves, and hold the baby in their lap.

Appropriated for editorial use. Thank you to the owner, whoever that is...

This video is from YouTube, possibly made by a post mortem portrait collector. It has a musical soundtrack, so be forewarned.

A few more prints from my own collection:


The use of carriages and bassinets was common, a way to imply that the baby was only asleep, rather than dead.

Along with the usual post mortem portraits, one can find examples of memorial cards that were made available as well. They were usually letterpress text on a black or very dark purple cabinet card sized board. Usually there was no photograph at all, providing a less expensive option to hand out to guests at the funeral.

Other cabinet card sized photographs often included an earlier pre-mortem portrait printed with a stylized vignetting applied so as to indicate that these were memorial photos of the recently deceased. The most common convention in the USA was the scrolled paper edges. (See below, left)

Another option would be to set up the funeral flower arrangements and include a small pre-mortem portrait within the setting. The still life would be photographed and printed as a memorial photo for relatives.

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