Lydia Dwight Dead; made by John Dwight’s Fulham Pottery; England; 1674. Source: V&A Museum.
One of the earliest experiments in European ceramic sculpture, this object was commissioned by the father of the dead child in order to capture her likeness and perpetuate her memory. It was a personal and private sculpture, reflecting the grief of the little girl’s family, and perhaps not intended for open display in the house. […]
Lydia Dwight was six years old when she died on 3 March 1674 (1673 by the Old Calendar). The fact that the next daughter was also christened Lydia does not suggest lack of grief on the part of the parents, but was usual practice in an age noted for its high infant mortality.
Photograph by Charles Van Schaick, undated. Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Source: Wisconsin Historical Society.
European American man layed out on a lounging sofa, dressed in a suit. Probably a corpse lying in state.
Image: A post-medieval skull with a coin in each eye orbit, excavated from Bethnal Green, London. Copyright AOC Archaeology.
I focus on human, not animal, death on this site, but this was too human not to post.
Cat burial scene, 1925. Weir, Québec. Source: Library and Archives Canada.
Mourning-figures by Claus Sluter
Tomb of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon; c. 1405
Black teddy bear from England, ca. 1910. From the V&A Museum:
This teddy bear’s name is Blackie, for obvious reasons. It is an early English bear and may have been made to commemorate the death of Edward VII. Black is not a very common colour for teddy bears and is usually associated with a tragic event.
Death; time; the cutting off of life; an attribute of Chronos/Saturn and of the figures of the Reaper and Death. The scythe also symbolizes the harvest which, in turn, implies death and rebirth, the destructive and creative powers of the Great Mother.
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols by J.C. Cooper, 1978.
“Copied by the London Photographic Compy., 1B Norfolk Terrace, Bayswater W., and 304 Regent Street W.”
This is a mass-produced sentimental image. The woman, dressed in widow’s mourning, laments at a real grave—however, it is too old a grave to be any of any freshly lost relative of her own. Thanks to modern technology the inscription can be read as “In affectionate remembrance of Frederick William Paige…who departed this life September 11, 1814, age 35.”
Skeletons, mummies, bog bodies, exhumations. The dead, and what happens to them.
Meet This Dead Person
Feats of Preservation
Skulls and Skeletons
Ossuaries and Bone Architecture
Incorruptibles and Saintly Relics
When Famous People Die
When Dead People Turn to Soap
Skeletons in Clothes
Dead People Sitting, Standing, or
Made to Look Alive
Death in Art
Accidents and Disasters
Morgues, Funeral Homes, and the
Business of Death
Mourning Customs and Imagery
Handling, Disposing of, and Storing
Posthumous Travels and
Cemeteries and Graveyard Scenes
Personal Details and Opinions
Just Plain Weird or Uncategorizable