Dating victorian photographs

Numerous types of photographs appeared and then went out of favor throughout th 1800s.

So, the first step in narrowing the possible date for your old photograph is to be able to identify 19th century photographs to determine what type you have.

It could be found in art, music, and even poetry: Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur, Mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur, Omnia mors perimit et nulli miseretur. Ni conversus fueris et sicut puer factus Et vitam mutaveris in meliores actus, Intrare non poteris regnum Dei beatus. Life is short, and shortly it will end; Death comes quickly and respects no one, Death destroys everything and takes pity on no one.

To death we are hastening, let us refrain from sinning.

Many images in our collection have come to us with only the barest of details attached.

Your knowledge, interest and enjoyment in identifying dates and locations is helping us to fill in some of the blanks and, in turn, provide better access to the State’s archives.

Because of this, these are the questions we get asked again and again. Yes, an accurate date does help to pinpoint who the subject/s of the photograph might be.

Knowing when a photograph was taken, where it was taken – together with the details of the image itself – often make it possible to decide who the sitter really is. Sometimes it can even confirm that it is NOT who you think it is! There can be so many clues which, when all taken together, can give you a very accurate result.

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In the earliest forms of post-mortem photography, coffins were seldom seen and the dead would be posed as if they were still alive.

In some ways the dead seem more alive than the living – certainly less ghostly. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities.

He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

If you do not turn back and become like a child, And change your life for the better, You will not be able to enter, blessed, the Kingdom of God.

— virelai ad mortem festinamus of the Catalan Llibre Vermell de Montserrat from 1399 A quite disturbing element of these Victorian post-mortem photographs is the fact that due to the slow process of taking pictures with early cameras, the living in photographs are slightly blurred whilst the dead – who cannot move – appears with crystal clarity.

The term “memento mori” is not Victorian – it predates it by centuries.

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