A Painted Tintype

Large, hand painted tintype of a child, measuring 8.5″ x 6.5″. This style of “folk art” tintype was most popular from the mid-1860s and 1870s. After a tintype photograph was made, an artist would use oil paints and watercolors to paint over the image, which was then typically placed in a wall frame. The whole process was a relatively inexpensive way, especially compared to a traditional painted portrait, of obtaining a framed, colored portrait of a family member.

I believe the tintype shown here is a post mortem portrait – note the flower in the child’s hand, the way the head is resting back against the chair, and how the eyes are not looking at the photographer.. in fact, while there are many post mortem photos of deceased people with their eyes open, I believe that here, the artist probably painted open eyes over closed, or partially closed eyelids.

Full-plate, painted post mortem tintypes are relatively rare, but there are a few examples in The Thanatos Archive collection. Log in or create a free account, then type in “painted and tintype” in the search box to see a few of our examples.

Big News!

The Thanatos Archive is now a 100% FREE resource. After seven years we have moved on from subscription based access, and going forward, will be relying on virtual tips from the generosity of our patrons to keep our Archive online. Tips are appreciated, but not required to access the collection, and any amount helps! Visit The Thanatos Archive for more info and to access the entire collection for free. Thanks for your support!

Willie Bleck Death, 1913 Clipping

Clipping detailing the death of a 7-year-old Willie Bleck. The Shehawken House was a small hotel that was owned by Peter Bleck, Willie’s uncle. It was still around operating as that business at least until 1951 and owned by Peter’s daughter, who died of a heart attack in the hotel. Willie is buried at Riverview Cemetery in Hancock.  If interested, you can view Willie’s memorial card in our members’ section. If you’re not yet a Thanatos Archive members, please review membership options here! Thanatos Archive memberships.