Is he dead?

Many cabinet card and carte de visite  collectors rage at unethical sellers who try to up the value of a card by claiming that the person in it is dead when clearly they are not.  This is often seen with sleeping baby pictures.  I’ve had kids of my own.  Sometimes it is plain easier to get them to stay still when they are sleeping.  This is particularly useful when your photography system requires extended time blocks of stillness to work.  I’ve also had my kids fall asleep and become like the living dead when I don’t want them to.  So I hesitate to claim this card has a dead kid in it.  What do you think?sam_3055

It is the strange stance that had me look twice.  It is like he has been propped up against the women.  The elbow at first glance, is propped on “granny’s” leg but when you look again, it seems to be more “draped” over her leg.  There is no energy in that arm.  But it is the head that really looks off.sam_3055-copyIt is tipped back.  And the eyes appear closed.  The face is washed out with light so it is difficult to tell if the eyes are closed or if they are blurred out from moving during the photographic process.  So I fiddled with the picture using effects on my computer.sam_3055-copyYup, eyes seem closed.

Your call…Dead or sleeping? If he is sleeping, would a normal child at this age be able to remain asleep after being posed (possibly in a photographer’s stand) in this up right position?

I can’t find information for this photographer but I think Biggar is in Scotland.sam_3056

As an aside, I think this card is from the 1870’s.  The corners were originally square.  The younger woman’s hair style is quite elaborate and there is a ton of props and backgrounds in the photograph.


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