Treasures from the Library of Congress, courtesy of the Public Domain Review

A series of elaborate “skeleton leaf” arrangements, from the photographic studios of John P. Soule which stood on Washington Street in Boston from 1861 to 1882. As well as producing many pictures of Boston’s buildings, notable events (such as the 1869 National Peace Jubilee and the great fire of 1872), carte-de-visite portraits etc., Soule also produced these so called “Skeleton Leaves”. As well as comprising wreath shapes and crosses the leaves also served as elaborate frames for the portraits of individuals which were sometimes embedded within them. The process of drying out leaves in such a way was very popular at the time, with whole books being published that were devoted to the subject such as Phantom Flowers, a treatise on the art of producing skeleton leaves (1864).

(all images from LOC)

For more on the Public Domain Review:

Share this post: