Memento Mori (Latin for "Remember thy Death") p.2

More Post Mortem and Memorial Photographs from our collection

On the right is a pink paper folder holding a tintype of a baby. Mounted on the cover of the folder is a newspaper clipping, very yellowed from time and the glue used to attach it. Without the clipping we would see an alert and rather solemn infant in a long white dress. The contents of the clipping changes everything. It reads:

"Little Rosie is gone. All so sudden and unexpectedly the darling little cherub died, last Wednesday night, at the St. Charles hotel, aged nine months and one day. She was the infant child of Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Whitely, of Chicago. Mrs W. is a sister of Mrs. Cuyler, of the St. Charles hotel,, and is visiting her. The remains were interred at Mason City, Friday."

The tintype on the left was made with a two tube camera. We are not sure if it was intended to be a stereo image or if it should have been cut in half to make two tintypes. It could be the picture of a couple with a sleeping baby but the expressions and distant gaze of the parents suggest a sadder interpretation. On the table between them is a metal cup and spoon. Is this perhaps a precious engraved baby cup?
The pair of cabinet cards below speak volumes about the uncertainty of life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The same parlor tables flank two tiny white caskets. The small child and baby must be siblings who were taken away by a common tragedy. Our heart goes out to a family faced with such sorrow. The cabinet card marks are from the photographer, B. F. Golden of Olyphant, PA.
Memorial photographs were not only made for personal and family mourning but also to remember public figures that were lost. The carte-de-visit below features a picture of the assassinated president Lincoln mounted on a cross and displayed with skeleton leaves under a glass dome. To make the photograph of the grave marker of Daniel Boyce even more personal a cabinet card portrait of the young man was placed in the frame.

Memento Mori p.1: Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, and Tintype
Memento Mori p.2: More Post Mortem and Memorial Photographs * You are here
Memento Mori p.3: Memorial Objects with Photographs
Memento Mori p.4: Absent Dear Ones

Related interests of the Victorian Era in our collection:
Spirit Photography - The photography of ghosts and spirits
Mesmerism - "Flint the Mesmerist"
Phrenology - The study of human personality from the shape of the head


Return to The Collection of Collections page

Collection of Collections Site Map

Contact us at

**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the Go Antiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

© Bright Bytes Studio - Do not use images without permission

Updated on 7/2005