Post Mortem baby large photo real hair

Discussion in 'Ephemera and Photographs' started by billyd3us, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. billyd3us

    billyd3us relax buddy, it's all good

    I bought this yesterday from an estate sale for $1, everything was priced so very low. The house was packed with so many old things and people where going crazy digging through boxes etc. and me too. I found this behind a dresser and when I pulled it out, some shoppers asked me if they could buy it from me even before I paid for it. The photo looks like a print cutout but, has real human hair. Anyone know more about something like this or why is those pieces of material in frame also ? I have owned post mortem photos before but, never seen anything like this .
    Any ideas ?

    Thank You 012.JPG 013.JPG 014.JPG 015.JPG 016.JPG 017.JPG
     
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  2. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    Hi Billy, It appears to me that all that hair on baby's head has been placed there, the baby appears to be too young to have that mop of hair. That being said it is a very sad picture, I know that some folks collect them .. buy WHY??? .. Joy .. :(
     
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  3. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    I am not sure that is what is going on here. I recently bought at auction three pictures that I have called collages. They have used images cut out of magazines or prints, and then "dressed" them in actual fabrics, feathers, and in one case hair. From the images, they seem to date from the early 20th century (1915-1930). I have since seen a few other such creations. This may be the same thing - the baby may not be dead, just an image from a magazine of a sleeping child.
     
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  4. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    Shadow box baby, real hair and blanket. B67778EC-79D4-4403-B096-AA1CD1AAA649.jpeg
     
  5. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Hello @i need help. Do you have a link or any more information about this piece? It does seem similar.
     
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  6. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

  7. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

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  8. billyd3us

    billyd3us relax buddy, it's all good

    Hi Joy, I know the hair was placed by Mommy or someone else. Yes I agree, it is a sad picture but, there are collectors who buy this kind of stuff
     
  9. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS!!!

    Billy, unless I missed reading something (easily could have right now!) look CAREFULLY around the child’s HAND in your photo........AT LEAST the hands ARE cut out of a magazine or something....... either enlarge the picture or use a magnifying whatever!!!!
     
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  10. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    There are a lot of framed pictures with paper cutouts dressed in real fabric clothes. I have some myself. I know somebody who has a picture of a Shirley Temple cutout dressed in clothes made of real fabric. I can't remember if she has a wig like these babies do, though. I think these are vintage 1930s-1950s.

    That being said, I haven't seen any like this. I'm not sure whether the baby ones are real photos or cut out of magazines.

    What makes this image a post mortem instead of just a sleeping baby, @billyd3us ?
     
  11. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    This one is a print, and I cannot remember the artist, but the mouth is the giveaway. The "accessories" were probably added by someone who thought that particular baby looked like little Nelson. who may (or may not) have been dead. The hair may have been cut after death for this use, or, less morbidly, after his first haircut. (Although, whatever the circunstance, I tend to the former. There's something that says, In Memoriam: to me...)

    The most exaggerated example of this kind of thing I have ever seen was owned (briefly) by my mother. It was a life-size painting of the head and shoulders of a young boy with blonde curls...taken off the original head, curl by curl and sewn in. It was a face-forward representation, and the curls were monstrously thick and tidy. Frame and all, the whole thing was about three feet by two, and Mother hung it above the living room fireplace mantel. !!!!!

    She thought it would be interesting to see people's reactions. It was!

    Some people took it seriously (?), some ignored it the way one ignores a zit on a self-conscious teenager's face, others tried to be diplomatic (how nicely the red shirt goes with the chairs), and there were those who shrieked with hysterical laughter (ME). There was even one stalwart gentleman who talked to us from the dining room into the living room -- just to be out of sight range.

    After a few weeks of this, my mother finally carted it off to her antique shop. Someone, she said, will just love it.

    Riiiiiiight...

    Well, someone did. He, or she, broke into the shop one night, and stole the great work of art. He, or she, left the silver, (much more portable), the jewelry, the other oddments of value, to cart off $3.63 from the desk drawer and that huge, frighful painting-with-curls.
     
  12. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Postmortem photos were more common in the 19th century, (though even then not as common as other types of photographs - hence the collectibility). The methods and equipment required specialists, so you needed to hire a photographer to take photographs of any sort. If there had not been an opportunity to photograph a person in life, you might want an image made in death.

    This picture looks more recent, and less likely to be an actual postmortem photo. Although, as Silverthwait says, some people still created mementos. But there are plenty of sentimental pictures of sweet sleeping babies from this period. This one just has hair.
     
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  13. gregsglass

    gregsglass Well-Known Member

    Hi,
    I have about a dozen photos of family members lying in their caskets. It was too expensive to have photos taken when alive. It was often done when the person died and the family realized that they had no photos of the person. The strangest one is where they propped my great great uncle up on the sofa and the photo taken of his wife sitting next to him. You can tell he was dead and she was alive.
    greg
     
  14. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    THOSE, I HATE! UGH! Just think about the timing... They had to 1) either wait until rigor mortis had passed, or 2) have old George dressed and camera-ready Very shortly after the Angel of Death had come and gone.

    G'morning, Greg!
     
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  15. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I love this story, and the post. Thanks, @silverthwait !
     
  16. judy

    judy Well-Known Member


    Are you thinking of Bessie Pease Gutmann?
    [​IMG]
     
  17. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    Probably. Note the mouth. Not, I think, Charlotte Becker, and definitely not Jessie Wilcox Smith...I used to own several of those baby prints. Still have one by the latter, called "Mother Soothing." It is Quite large and in an ornate frame -- painted white, and gorgeous!
     
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  18. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    OK. So my computer has hiccups!
     
  19. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    Baby prints were quite desirable 15 years or so ago.

    I especially loved the BPG prints.
     
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  20. billyd3us

    billyd3us relax buddy, it's all good

    Okay, I'll check it out closer.
     
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