Post mortem sketches like this one are a reflection of the personal decision of the family rather than being a popular device of the memorial industry. Being a popular curiosity and industry in its own right, post mortem photography was quite common in the United States and to a lesser extent Europe.
Sketches, however, can be produced by the family for the family (in the same way as a sampler) or commissioned, but was not as popular as its technological counterpart. Pieces like these are rare and unique memorial items.
Courtesy: Barbara Robbins
Year: c. 1840
Dedication: AE. 46