In the days prior to the personal camera, often young children would succumb to disease or accidental death before a professional photography session had ever been arranged. If this happened, the grieving parents would occasionally arrange for a likeness to be captured posthumously. While the idea seems rather macabre to modern day folks, this was the only way they had of preserving an image of their little one. Think of our present day situation where every child is copiously photographed at birth and on at least a monthly basis, if not more often, from there on in, thanks to the world of digital cameras.
In my collections of family photos, I have two such photos. Unfortunately neither has any identification of who the little body was. I can surmise who they may have been based on death records and other photos that I received from the same families, but at best these are only calculated guesses, and may well not even be the right family lines.
The second one I would probably thought was a photo of a live child, because the eyes are open, however there is an inscription, handwritten at the top that does indicate it is an "after death picture". The unnatural posing probably also adds credence to the fact this is in all likelihood a posthumous photograph.
I actually found a blog dedicated to what were known as mourningportraits. Sorry it is not a site for the faint of heart, but it certainly gives us an insight into how our ancestors coped with early deaths.
The Daily Quest
What phrase is represented by this whatzit?
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.