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What Is This Kid Holding?


hdesousa
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:unsure: This photo reminds me of something strange they used to do back in those days, sometimes when I child would die, they would take a photo of the child posed in a chair, most often you would see an arm holding the child up from behind, we have an old family photo of that sort, every time my aunt gets it out to show off I get the willies, she said it was her GG grandfathers brother who died from whooping cough in the 1860's

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If you look under the child's right armpit you can see the chord extends there and below his right hand. The left hand also appears to be holding a bulb or sphere as well. Perhaps the chord wraps around the child's back or connects the two spheres. But why?

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Although it looks like some sort of marble,i can't imagine a mother gives it to her baby,it,s too dangerous.

I'll go for some sort of rattle.LOL i think we will never know for sure.

This rattle is from my celluloid collection.It has a swan inside.

miSmall_zps2af6ca84.jpg

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Although it looks like some sort of marble,i can't imagine a mother gives it to her baby,it,s too dangerous.

I'll go for some sort of rattle.LOL i think we will never know for sure.

This rattle is from my celluloid collection.It has a swan inside.

miSmall_zps2af6ca84.jpg

That's an interesting rattle!

Do you think this is a rattle as well, or a sulphide marble?

$_12.JPG$_12.JPG

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This certainly looks like a postmortem photo to me. The expression and the very limp posture of the child are an indication of this.

In the eighteenth and well into the nineteenth century postmortem portraiture, especially of children, was not unusual. As photography became available, the practice continued. Among the many books that describe this phenomenon is "The Art of Family, Genealogical Artifacts in New England" by D. Brenton Simons and Peter Benes.

At the same time, and well into the 1900's, children of both sexes were dressed alike from birth through their first years. So, to indicate the gender of the child certain symbols were commonly used. A girl would often be depicted holding a flower and a boy would be posed with some sort of toy. The toys I have seen though were usually age-appropriate - a rattle for a baby or a ball,game or book for an older boy. This makes me doubt that the object in question is a marble. But, who knows, anything is possible.

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Yo-yo is an interesting idea. Wouldn't have thought of that, but a semi-round object

in a two dimensional photo could certainly appear completely round.

Combining info from Winnie and Stacy, since I know nothing myself, the 'rattle hypothesis'

sounds really good for the second photo. And that large a marble would be too heavy.

Super great old photo from Akronmarbles!

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This certainly looks like a postmortem photo to me. The expression and the very limp posture of the child are an indication of this.

In the eighteenth and well into the nineteenth century postmortem portraiture, especially of children, was not unusual. As photography became available, the practice continued. Among the many books that describe this phenomenon is "The Art of Family, Genealogical Artifacts in New England" by D. Brenton Simons and Peter Benes.

At the same time, and well into the 1900's, children of both sexes were dressed alike from birth through their first years. So, to indicate the gender of the child certain symbols were commonly used. A girl would often be depicted holding a flower and a boy would be posed with some sort of toy. The toys I have seen though were usually age-appropriate - a rattle for a baby or a ball,game or book for an older boy. This makes me doubt that the object in question is a marble. But, who knows, anything is possible.

I can imagine a bullseye on a carpetball that the boy is holding, and agree that the kid is most likely dead. Perhaps that's why his cheeks are colored, in addition to the reasons you've given, especially when compared to the post-mortem photos here:

(Warning, post mortem means dead. And in this case, it's death with dignity.)

http://io9.com/the-strangest-tradition-of-the-victorian-era-post-mort-472772709

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Thanks for the link Hansel. Some may find these images gruesome, but I don't. To me, they seem like loving remembrances that represent a much healthier accceptance of death as a part of life than what we have today. Having such extended and intimate contact with a deceased relative's body may have helped the family work through the grieving process.

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Well, this whole idea isn't really any different from an open-casket, is it?

I don't personally like this sort of thing, but can certainly respect it as

something that brings comfort and closure to a large number of people.

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One needs to remember too, that when these photos were taken, folks were unlikely to have any other images of the child. We can't judge by today's standards, when we have photos, videos, etc,,ad nauseum of children from even before birth!

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I lost a very good friend a few years ago , his wife had the every thing in there living room , at first I thought it would be very weird and almost did not go but it turned out to be a very good funeral . I also took pictures and am very glad I did . I could go on and on but will not but I just think about that day a lot . Mike

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