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Memento Mori card

Memento Mori card

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1850-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hodges, John (publisher)
    Hodges, John (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Photographic paper and card

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Memento mori card of portrait proportions, printed in black on white, within a rustic branch border. The card is headed with a sepia carte-de-visite photgraph of an (apparently) dead small child dressed in a shroud, and laid out with a cross placed between its hands. Beneath is printed a poem:
"Art thou sleeping ? Art thou waking ?
Tell us, darling child.
Through thy slumbers are there breaking
Voices soft and mild, -
Angel voices calling to thee,
None but thou can hear,
Angel whispers come to woo thee
To a brighter sphere ?"
"On my couch my eyes are closing
To this world of pain;
Wakes my soul to this reposing,
Ne'er to sleep again.
I am sleeping; I am waking;
Sleeping to this earth,
But from tears and sorrow breaking
To a heavenly birth."

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1850-1900 (made)


Hodges, John (publisher)
Hodges, John (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Photographic paper and card

Marks and inscriptions

John Hodges had two premises: one in Covent Garden, London; the other in Frome Selwood, Somerset


Height: 15.5 cm, Width: 11.4 cm

Object history note

Originally loosely inserted into B.82-1995, and bought with it at auction. It is possible that the card was originally marketed without the photograph, so that the purchaser could customise it with the image of their choice, probably that of the child they were mourning.

Descriptive line

Memento mori card; published by John Hodges in the UK, 1850-1900

Subjects depicted

Death; Children


Museum of Childhood

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