Dead or Not?

victorian post mortem photography skull illusion woman fan chair

Because we haven’t done this for a while…

This is yet another supposedly post mortem photograph that is swimming around the net without any background detail.

I can see why people might think that this is a post mortem pic, but I’m not entirely convinced. The lady’s eyes still seem to have a spark of life in them, in my opinion.

What do you think?



This entry was posted in dead or not, memento mori, post mortem, post mortem photography, Victorian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Dead or Not?

  1. Nickie says:

    Not dead. More stoned.

  2. Firefly Phil says:

    I reckon not. The poise is too assertive, and would have been difficult to rig. Note the position of the hands and her right arm.

  3. Dixie says:

    She does appear to be gripping her dress in her right hand, but I am not sure. Her face doesn’t look dead to me, although I agree with Nickie, she looks stoned!

  4. Denise says:

    I don’t think so. Her right hand looks to be grasping the arm of the chair and her eyebrows look raised. Her hands aren’t discolored & her gaze is pointedly fixed on something. Perhaps a woman in mourning?

  5. SillyBeardy says:

    Not dead.

    To my eye it looks as though she may be a stroke victim… Note the fairly stiff posture on her right hand side compared to her left. Her right hand grips her dress whereas her left arm hangs limp with the fan seemingly placed in that hand. The loose skin on the left hand as opposed to the tighter skin of the right hand would support this theory, as a lack of motor function would lead to a loss of muscle.

  6. Gwen says:

    I think that maybe she suffered from blindness,and thats why her eyes look kind of whitish?

  7. I think she is blind in her right eye, or possibly a right side stroke. Is is normal to only wear one glove? I would think a post mortem picture they would put both on, no? I think she’s alive.

  8. Vicky says:

    Definitely alive and definitely blind. She may be a stroke victim as well but has no drooping on one side of her face although there is some abnormality/weakness of her left hand it seems. The lowered lids and unfocused, unseeing eyes have the distinctive blind-from-birth look…IMHO.

  9. The left hand looks like it is missing fingers and she is grasping the fan in a very awkward manner. The same can be said for the grasping of the dress with the left hand. It’s not a natural pose….why would she be grasping the fabric that way and not have her hand relaxed on her lap as most photographers would direct her to do? Is her hand wrapped around the fabric to keep the hand in place? She is leaning a bit to the corner of the chair which would allow her to be proped up easier than one might think. But…all the above comments make sense too. Oh to be the photographer in this room.

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