Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pith Helmet, Dead Thinker, Intense Baby Girl with Shrouded Mother

I'm currently putting together a little book of some of the tintypes in my collection.  Hadn't looked at them for a while and I marveled anew at their strangeness and humanity both.

Man in what looks like a kind of pith helmet (though without mosquito net).

Unknown Dead Thinker and (?) Raconteur.

Marvelous little girl--her hands in her lap in almost the same position as those of the Dead Thinker.  This is what's known as a 'Shrouded Mother' tintype: meaning that someone, usually the mother or nanny, has hidden herself under dark drapery in order to hold the child or baby motionless while the image is being produced.  (The pinched drapery here suggests that the mother is holding the girl's head just behind the ears.)  Extraordinarily eerie, of course.  Also unsettling: the child looks like someone I once loved very much.