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Postmortem carte de visite portraits of children.

Great Britain, circa 1865-1890.
Physical Description:
3 cartes de visite : albumen ; mounts 10.3 x 6.3 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Photographs CdV 1987-1989
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"The earliest postmortem photographs were the simplest ... Many images were taken exactly where the deceased had expired, without arranging the body. Often parents are shown holding a child in their laps, as if it is still alive, or holding it up. Frequently the subject, usually a child, is placed across a studio chair or couch in a pose representing 'the last sleep.' Some images of this type depict the child in its bed, often in a christening outfit ...In the 1860s with the advent of albumen prints and the invention of the popular carte-de-visite, multiple prints of the postmortem photograph became possible. This facilitated the dissemination of images to relatives in distant locations ..."--Postmortem photography, in Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography (2008), volume 2, pages 1165-1166.
No. 1987 depicts the head and shoulders of a child, perhaps 10 years old, looking directly at the camera, with eyes open. She wears a high-collared dress, most of which is covered by a dark cloth, perhaps a blanket. Printed on verso of mount: "From the studio of F. Beales, photographic artist, 31 High Street, Corner of West Street, Boston ... Marion imp. Paris." Frederick Beales was active at this address in the 1870s and 1880s.
No. 1988 depicts an infant fully reclined, in long white gown, atop a white pillow. The infant's eyes are closed. Printed at foot of the mount: "A. Peplow, Hastings." Printed on verso of mount: "Alfred Peplow, Alpine Studio. Portrait, group, & architectural photography. Priory Road (opposite Halton Church), Hastings ... Marion imp. Paris." Peplow was active as a photographer in Hastings beginning in 1877. He marketed his premises as the "Alpine Studio" beginning in the the late 1880s.
No. 1989 depicts an infant partially reclined, in knee-length white gown, resting atop the folds of artfully draped dark cloth. The infant's eyes are closed. A small bouquet rests in the infant's lap. Printed on verso of mount: "Lawrence Lowe, 10, Queen's Terrace, St. John's Wood, N.W. Negative no. [8743] ..." Lowe was active at this address from the 1860s to the 1890s.
Subject Terms:
Children -- Death.
Mourning customs -- Great Britain.
Albumen prints.
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
Portrait photographs.
Postmortem photographs.
Beales, Frederick, photographer.
Peplow, Alfred, photographer.
Lowe, Lawrence, (Photographer), photographer.
Marion and Co. (Paris, France)

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