MEDHURST & CO.
Fine Images and Documents
Email: medhurstmd@aol.com  
Phone: 913-851-8462
19257  Postmortem of a Young Man  1/6 plate ruby
ambrotype of a man laid flat out on a bed covered in a
white sheet.  Another white sheet drapes the wall behind
him. Full case.  $375

My friend George Whitely offered his interesting
information:

"On the post-mortem image of the gentleman laid
out...He is lying on what was called a "cooling table." A
board was place between two chairs in this case so air
could circulate beneath the deceased thus theoretically
preserving the body slightly longer for viewing. This was
more commonly used in the South as you might imagine
due to our warmer climate, but was also used in other
geographic areas as well. Images featuring this type of
display are fairly rare as it was a primitive way to
temporarily preserve the dead. Just thought you'd like to
know."