Back in 1839, Victorian photographers were well familiar with the phrase: “secure the shadow, ere’ the substance fades.” It was the reflection of life and death situation in those days, obviously something that we won’t be able to fully understand today.

Pictured: Mother & Father Pose With Their Deceased Daughter

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What they couldn’t cherish in one’s life, they immortalized those sentiments for the deceased through the art of photography. Here’s a very special compilation of Victorian age images which depict “mirrors with memories,” or rather, the way of remembering the dearly departed in a special and equally bizarre way.

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Often times, it was very difficult for expert photographers to get the departed individuals to pose in a natural way. Therefore, props were invented to help certain photographers met with requests on behalf of the family members of the deceased.

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Sometimes, the photographer would seek the services of a funeral makeup artist to paint realistic pupils on the eyelids of the dead.

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For Victorians, the mourning period would last from anywhere between few days to few weeks. Embalmers were hired to preserve the bodies in perfect condition in order to assist the photographers to get by with their business. 

Pictured: 1910 Circa Photograph. Can you guess who the dead person is?

The Victorians never, or rarely used props to pose their beloved dead ones.

One photographer writes in his journal, “The departed were never treated as meat puppets on strings. They were respected and treated with dignity.”

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It demonstrates the level of love and respect these people put into their profession. 

On the same note, everyone in 1800’s could not afford the services of a postmortem photographer. These people used to charge a very high price for one singal shot.

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In that regard, the living had to make sure that they whatever they were paying was worth it.

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Although, the mother seems to be smiling, she had a hard time letting go of her daughter. She reluctantly agreed to a photograph nine days after the little girl’s death!

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Can you guess who is the departed one in this Victoria postmortem photo?

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These nursing bottles were a popular invention in the Victorian time period. Later on, they earned the reputation as “murder bottles” because of their innate ability to retain bacteria in the feeding tube and the rubber nipples.

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Four girls posing around their beloved dead dog during a mid 1800s photograph.

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Another 1850’s photograph of a dead pet posed to reflect the family’s love. These photos were cherished for years to come. 

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The handwritten note in the above image says that this photo was taken nine days after the girl passed away. She looks very much alive!

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An entire Victorian family poses around their deceased family member, who seems to be sleeping on the floor.

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Husband immortalizes his love for his dead wife in this Victorian photograph. 

Pictured: Bavarian King – Louis II (Resting in an eternal sleep)

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This Victorian photograph shows two baby brothers. One of them recently gave up his life to a plague infestation. As much as the parents’ love is appreciable, their lack of concern for infecting their only living child with the same disease questions their ignorance level.

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Mother and father pose around their departed son. Notice how the pupils were painted on the eyelids.

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Another example of a young boy resting in an eternal slumber.

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A small Victorian family poses around their deceased daughter in this image. The little girl looks like as if she’s taking a nap by her mother’s side.

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Two young sisters are seen sitting by their deceased brother’s side in this Victorian photograph. The photographer captured the moment in all its perfection.

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Can you guess which one of these two young ladies is not alive anymore in this Victorian photograph?

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This deceased child is photographed with his favorite toy from the Victorian time period. 

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Another rare image of Victorian parents striking a pose with their beloved/ recently dead daughter in this photograph. Notice the expressions on the father’s face.

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