[ The following caption is from our member’s section, describing the scene without the mat ] Sixth-plate daguerreotype, early-1850s: Man propped up in bed or chair using pillows and other objects, assisted by a man crouched behind – note his hand visible in the upper-left. Also, the deceased man’s suit appears draped over his body to give the appearance that he was actually wearing it. All of these details that went into preparing this death scene were never meant to be seen by the casual viewer – they are completely hidden when the original mat is replaced – see our blog post.
The grave marker of 15-year-old Marian Lapham at Rochester Cemetery in Wisconsin (photographed in 2009). A photo of a very ill Marian taken shortly before death can be viewed in our collection, here (Thanatos Archive subscription is required). Not yet a member? Membership options are available here.
Wisconsin, circa 1912: Man in his casket, on top of which have been placed several religious statues, with even more visible on the altar display in the background. A funeral wreath with the word “Father” has been laid on top of his casket, and a religious photo has been placed next to his head. A second photo of the man’s female relatives praying at the sides of his casket is available here (Thanatos Archive subscription is required. Not yet a member? Memberships available here ).
Archive image 3511: Daguerreotype of a little boy, as found in its original case. A larger scan showing the entire scene with the oval mat removed, is available to Archive members on our main website (Thanatos Archive subscription is required. Not yet an Archive member? Pick up your own subscription here.