= I studied this tin type for a long time before I finally realized that these three babies were triplets. Even now, I'm not absolutely certain, but after adding up all the clues, I'm pretty confident these are all siblings.
The three physically look alike - really, really alike. And there's no reason to photograph three infants together. After all, trying to keep just ONE infant still long enough for an exposure is very trying, even for a professional photographer. Imagine keeping THREE babies still - nearly impossible, as this image proves. Look at the baby on the left - he/she is moving while the shutter is open, giving this one-of-a-kind image it's movement. Looks like the baby on the right shifted a bit too. The child in the center was still and shows the sharpest image of the three.
The beautiful gown worn by the center child is very long and has great eyelet ruffles along the bottom. This dress dates to the 1860s or so, and was probably handed down as an heirloom in the family. The other two babies are wearing later gowns, shorter, most likely from the 1890s or so. This would make sense if you weren't expecting triplets - a young mother would plan on one really good gown for a christening, but coming up with three heirloom gowns might be difficult. Therefore, it makes sense that one infant has the heirloom dress, while the other two babies would be wearing shorter - newer and contemporary to that time period. These would have been gowns of that last decade of the 1800s.
Although you may not be able to tell from my photos, these three beauties are being held in a woman's lap. If you look closely, you'll notice a patterned dress bodice behind the center baby's head. Just above this dress you can see the lower part of the woman's face. I'd suggest that this is probably the mother. The photographer chose to keep her out of the picture, and instead concentrated on the three adorable and somewhat active babies instead. Did you notice the center baby's not-very-happy pouting face?
This is such a wonderful image - so unusual - and I do wish I had more information on it. I found it in an antiques shop, and the owner had no background on it at all.
Size is 2-1/4" x 3-5/8".
This early image is in Very Good Condition. One of it's more interesting details is the photographer's partial finger print imbedded in the top right. It's hardly noticeable - I found it when I was looking this photo over with a magnifying glass.
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