Victorian Glass Funeral Urn with Tinted Photograph of Lillian Russell - *Updated information **No it is not her funeral urn!
* We are photographing our collection and I am replacing earlier quick pictures made with the point and shoot camera with better images made with our professional camera.
When we found the 14" urn in a Maryland antique mall we were sure it was an urn for ashes. We have since found it identified as such in books on 19th century funeral practice. The glass is painted maroon on the inside but is scratched in spots and something can be seen in the interior. With some trepidation we removed the metal insert in the neck and were relieved to find it was filled with crumpled paper. It seems likely to us that this never held the ashes of this beauty but was a display sample.
** Update - Flickr member Memento Mori1880 wrote to tell me that this is a photograph of the actress/singer Lillian Russell. A search of photographs of Miss Russell show several with the exact same pins and one with the bow that she is wearing in the urn photograph. This confirms our assumption that it is a sample and was not used as a funeral urn. Miss Russell died in 1922, long after this urn was made.
* Update #2 I love flickr! What I enjoy most about collecting is the incentive to research and learn new things. When you combine the vast knowledge and willingness to share of flicker users (Thanks Memento Mori1880) and the depth of information on the internet the possibility can seem overwhelming. Note my comment below with an example of a different pose that must have been taken at the same photo session.