Victorian photographic posing stand, used to help subjects stand still for several minutes during long exposures. These were NOT used for post-mortem photos. They are not strong enough to support a dead body, never mind help it stand in a natural pose.
NOT POSTMORTEM "victorian children.so serious! The one standing is post mortem" No! Look at his face, he has an expression on his face that a dead child could not. He is posed by the chair, not supported by it.
This is one of the Charles Van Schaick photographs that was used in the book "Wisconsin Death Trip." It's a portrait of deceased twin infants in coffins: Robert and Janet Fitzpatrick were born on July and died April