The earliest post-mortem photographs are usually close-ups of the face or shots of the full body and rarely include the coffin. The subject is usually depicted so as to seem in a deep sleep, or else arranged to appear more lifelike.
POST MORTEM (Paul Frecker collection) - A glossy gelating silver print probably dating from the second quarter of the twentieth century. A pencilled inscription on the reverse of the mount reads Sister Clara's daughter / Astrid Lindholm / in Sweden.
As an eight-year-old, Mary Ellen Wilson was severely abused by her foster parents, Francis and Mary Connolly. Her case of child abuse led to the creation of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Image dated Post Mortem Photo
The reverse of this English carte-de-visite gives full biographical details. An inked inscription in a fine period hand reads Francis Midelton Baker Born May 1874 Died April 1876 Taken the day before he died.
cabbagingcove: “ For people photographed long enough after death that decomposition had begun to deform their face, “death masks” were not uncommon. These are not the same as the castings made of the faces of the dead that are also called “death.