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I saw this on BoingBoing a few days back and found it really rather charming. It’s a series of trick “headless” photographs from the Victorian era. I just loved the way the grim seriousness of the portraiture of the time (all the serious sitters) is undercut by the playfulness of the headless compositions.

This one is probably my favourite because of that incongruity:

headless3

They seem rather straightlaced and traditional in the photo–and I love the idea that they must have in fact had a rather impish humour to pay for an elaborate “trick” photo like this one. 

I also like this one, again because it’s endearingly elaborate–with the way the severed neck has been shown. I also love the fact that the mother obviously got into the spirit of things as well, with her expression etc. on the severed head:

Pseudo lizzie borden

Do check out the main website for a goodly selection of other such trick pics of the time.

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