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Post Mortem Baby? - "Hidden Mother" - Cased Tintype Removed from the Mat

This is the tintype we bought yesterday with the mat removed. It was rather crudely cut down from a larger wet collodion tintype plate. You see that the so called "hidden mother" is not only covered by the paisley cloth but her face has been scratched out on the plate. We think that this supports the theory we have heard that most "hidden mothers" were actually assistants of the photographer who helped prepare the women and children for their photographs and held the children when needed. The theory of one photographic historian we met is that if it was the mother there would be no need to hide them and certainly, as in this case, to block out the face.


A close up of the baby, and a view of the back with the revenue stamp follows.

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Uploaded on August 29, 2011