Are you sure this isn't a post-mortem photograph? The eyes look a bit droopy and the dress is a bit disheveled. Many post-mortem photos are very hard to distinguish, but something about this one looks a bit suspect.
Nope, not sure at all. I don't know if there's a way to be sure...
I don't consider myself an expert but I do collect postmortem photos among other old photos and Bibles and have quit a collection. Old Bibles often have postmortem photos in them. I would say it is very possible it is a postmortem picture. The hands especially look to be strange and she seems to be off center in the chair. Most often they are tied to the chair and have something to hold their head up. She could be tied in but I can't see any sign of a neck support. Very interesting fine. I LOVE it!
It doesn't have any of the markers of a post-mortem. She's remarkably upright in the chair, and her eyes look too natural to be painted on.She *does* look like a very young girl (possibly who's just been ill, based on how short her hair is) in a borrowed dress that's too big for her. I would say this is probably around 1867 or 1868, right around the time the fashion changed over towards elliptical hoops.
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