Post-mortem photos (known as "dead baby" photos in the Brick house, thanks to Daughter #2) were often the only souvenir of a child's life. Most photos show the child by itself, poor little eyes rolled back in its head. Or the bereaved parent is shown, holding the small body gently.
Rarely do you see both. But now you can, thanks to Ebay!
This listing has two 19th century daguerrotypes. One has Mom holding the baby:
She looks exhausted, doesn't she...poor girl.
And the other shows the baby, tenderly tucked into bed:
Note the simple patchwork quilt.
Sad, yes -- but a typical expression of mourning in our culture. These photos are rare, but valued. (The price on this listing? A hefty $6,000.)
For more on post-mortem photos, go here.
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