Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Woman Advertising J.M. Dolph, Furniture Maker and Undertaker," Cabinet card, circa 1877

Woman Advertising J.M. Dolph, Furniture Maker and Undertaker
W. Peppets Art Gallery, Homer, Michigan
Cabinet card, circa 1877

A peculiar advertising photographic pictorial was devised during the 1870s. Women were posed holding signs heralding businesses, their dresses and bodies decorated with life-size objects related to the business. This woman’s hat is adorned with rings from coffin robes. On her chest, she sports a coffin plate, and above and beneath that plate are handles from a coffin. Around her neck is another coffin plate, and coffin chains and paraphernalia hang from her dress. Furniture makers became coffin makers as a natural extension of woodworking skills. The large frame [on the skirt of her dress] indicates this establishment also made frames.
From the wonderful Sleeping Beauty II - Grief, Bereavement and the Family in Memorial Photography by Stanley B. Burns, M.D.

As posted on Liquid Night and picked up by Turn of the Century.


melina bee said...

this has got to be one of the most amazing images I have ever seen

Anonymous said...

Is it to be assumed that this woman is dead? I noticed that it wasn't mentioned. But you can clearly see behind her feet that she's being propped up by a stand, as was tradition for Book of the Dead photos.

Anonymous said...

She is probably not dead, stands were also common in photographs of the living to help them hold still for the long exposures needed at the times.

Anonymous said...

Is there a reference for this image? I am interested in seeing more advertisements in this style.