While at first this image appears to depict a young military couple and their sleeping child it is I believe what
modern collectors refer to as a
postmortem photo - in this case grieving parents with a very recently deceased
infant. The woman's expression and possibly black dress would seem to reinforce this grim assessment.

While the practice of taking postmortem photographs of deceased family members, especially children may be at
odds with modern sensibilities it was viewed quite differently in the past and images such as this could quite
possibly be the only record of a very young life cut short by a child mortality rate that we today can hardly imagine.

Carte de Visite
J. Pearce - Photographer
21 Gt Berry Street, Wolverhampton, England
c. 1870