I scanned this illustration from an 1891 issue of The Strand Magazine in our collection to comment on the "hidden mother" behind the chair. I am posting it here to point out the head rest to the left of the chair. Do you see anyway it can hold up dead people? Of course not! It was to help live people hold still and stay in place.

I scanned this illustration from an 1891 issue of The Strand Magazine in our…Posted to Susan Cantrell's board Hidden Mothers; note the posing stand to the left which was used to keep a living subject's head still. It could not support a dead body.

I usually post from my collection but this image has so infected Pinterest and the blogs that I must comment. It is an illustration of an unusually elaborate posing stands. It has more bells and whistles than stands that I have posted but it is JUST a posing stand. It was not intended to, nor could it, hold up dead people. Look at the braces behind the head and back. Is there anything to attach them to the body to keep it upright? No there is not!

Post-Mortem Photography was an important part of dealing with the death of a loved one in the Victorian era. This article explains the fascinating truth behind the photos of the dead.

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