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Post-Mortem, Tintype, Young Girl | by mrwaterslide
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Post-Mortem, Tintype, Young Girl

Looking at photos on Ebay carries with it the danger that I'll see one that I just have to have, and this tintype was one. The view of this girl was so unusual (we almost have to be looking down at her, with the camera suspended, held, however whatnot, above), the hand-tinting so subtle, and the young girl herself so affecting, that, well, I made sure I got it, and it cost a bundle. It has a number of bends, as you can see in the high-resolution scan.

Photo #995, in case you're counting.

Sometimes, (imagine it) a post-mortem photograph was the only image a mother or a father had of a lost dearly loved child. Who are we, in our twenty-first century cocoons, walled-off from the reality of death, to point a finger back in time and mock the impulse to possess that last glimpse?

Recently, at my place of employment, we hosted the parents of some of the soldiers killed (I'm assuming---I didn't ask prying questions) in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was heartstoppingly sad to look at two middle-aged people, humble folks, and imagine that that child, now gone, was their only son, or only child.

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Uploaded on August 12, 2006