phunctum

Purveyor of Peculiar Photography

Yukon, Oklahoma
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| 952 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

phunctum is a Star Seller!

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Announcement    Vintage photos, real photo postcards, postmortem photos, tintypes, antique cabinet cards, circus freaks photos, CDVs, historic photos, vernacular photographs with punctum from Phunctum

Punctum “is this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me."
―Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

I've gathered these photos - one by one - because something about them draws me in...I hope you'll find something that speaks to you as well. These images may be fun, funky, freaky, haunting, historical, hysterical, beautiful or bizarre. They will always be vintage, original, and scarce or one of a kind.

Follow me on Instagram: @phunctum

Please visit my other shop, veraviola, for unusual, lovely or odd vintage finds:
http://www.veraviola.etsy.com

Announcement

Last updated on Jun 12, 2022

Vintage photos, real photo postcards, postmortem photos, tintypes, antique cabinet cards, circus freaks photos, CDVs, historic photos, vernacular photographs with punctum from Phunctum

Punctum “is this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me."
―Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

I've gathered these photos - one by one - because something about them draws me in...I hope you'll find something that speaks to you as well. These images may be fun, funky, freaky, haunting, historical, hysterical, beautiful or bizarre. They will always be vintage, original, and scarce or one of a kind.

Follow me on Instagram: @phunctum

Please visit my other shop, veraviola, for unusual, lovely or odd vintage finds:
http://www.veraviola.etsy.com

Items

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Lori

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Lori

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About phunctum

Sales 952
On Etsy since 2011

Purveyor of Peculiar Photography

Photographs reveal the "that-has-been" - an aura of lost time and lost memories.

I fell in love with old photos (and history) thanks to my paternal grandmother and the stacks of crumbling family albums she'd let me pore over whenever I'd visit. In the late 1800s, she had traveled as a child to the Oklahoma panhandle in a covered wagon and then lived in a dirt-floor dugout. She married at age 15 and bore 14 children. She lost two daughters and a tiny granddaughter to "dust pneumonia" in the dust bowl of the 1930s; they died within only a few days of each other. Several of her grown children made the hard trip west to California in the dirty thirties, shades of the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath. A few years later, my grandfather died - leaving my grandmother with several young children still at home.

I knew these and other members of that large family only from the old black and white photos in those albums. I experienced a bit of the dust bowl through these images; the soul-crushing poverty, the love and hope and optimism in desperate times.

Old photographs can communicate history, continuity, family, love, heartbreak, fear, joy, desire... Even photos of complete strangers can sometimes touch something deep inside us. From this passion for images of the past came my shop, phunctum, where I sell unique & unusual old photos that have stories to tell...stories that have been long silenced until now.

Please visit me at my other shop, veraviola, for a large variety of great vintage finds:
www.veraviola.etsy.com

Shop members

  • Lori

    Purveyor Of Peculiar Photography

Shop policies

Last updated on May 10, 2022
Welcome to Phunctum! Please come in & explore the images within...

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Visa Mastercard Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits

Returns & exchanges

See item details for return and exchange eligibility.

Cancellations

Cancellations: not accepted

Please contact the seller if you have any problems with your order.

Payment

Accepted payment methods: Direct Checkout or PayPal

Shipping

It is the buyer's responsibility to provide their correct shipping address!

I love multiple-item orders & happily refund any combined s/h overpayment in excess of $1.

All items are carefully packaged for safe shipping - I want things to arrive to you in the same condition in which they left me. I do often use recycled packaging, but pack to hold up to heavy handling & inclement weather.

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING is available on all items - I'm happy to ship internationally. Please note, however, that Phunctum is not responsible for any VAT/Customs fees that may be related to to your order nor will we help you in illegally circumventing these fees if they are applicable to you. Falsifying customs declarations or having an item marked as "gift" in order to avoid customs fees is classified as Mail Fraud and is a felony.

Additional policies and FAQs

While my home is smoke & pet free, please remember that the items I sell lived somewhere else for many years before they came home with me!

Some thoughts about Post Mortem Photography:
Post mortem images are difficult for most of us to look at, and today are often seen as macabre. This is the reason for the warning photo I often insert as the first image in a listing. However, in the late 19th & early 20th century people were, if not less afraid of death than we are now, then at least more accustomed to it. In Victorian and early Edwardian times the infant mortality rate was high and life expectancy in general was far shorter than it is today. Photographs were expensive, and mostly reserved for special occasions. In many cases, no photograph of a loved one (especially a child) existed before they died, so having a portrait made after death was a way to hold onto a visual remembrance of them. Even a sad memory was better than no memory at all.

By the early 20th century mortality rates began to lessen. Many people could afford their own cameras and were able to photograph family members while alive. Having portraits of the living made post mortem portraits unnecessary, and they became less and less desirable.

And as for the collectors of post mortem photography, I like the description Ransom Riggs gives in his magazine, mental_floss: "The taboos of sex and death switched places in the last hundred years. The Victorians would’ve been shocked at the erotic images you find everywhere in the 21st century, but didn’t flinch when it came to making images of their dead loved ones. I’d like to think that the people who collect those photos are just as interested in this lost way of life — or rather, way of death; a set of rituals that now seem alien to us — as they are in the gruesome ghost babies themselves." (www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/83929)

Today most large hospital neo-natal intensive care units will offer to take a picture of parents holding their deceased infant. Some professional photographers even donate their time to the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, which helps grieving parents through the loss of their stillborn or infant children by giving the gift of professional portraiture.

More information

Last updated on Nov 7, 2022

Frequently asked questions

Re: shipping to Germany

My company, phunctum, is registered at the Packaging Register of the Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) with registration number DE5394738727331. My Dual System Licensing partner for the collection, sorting & recycling of the packaging is ACTIVATE by RECLAY. As consumer please ensure that all received packaging is disposed of in the right recycling containers, Blue for all paper & cardboard and Yellow for all plastics.

Re: postmortem photography (part 1)

Post mortem images are difficult for most of us to look at, and today are often seen as macabre. This is the reason for the warning photo I often insert as the first image in a listing. However, in the late 19th & early 20th century people were, if not less afraid of death than we are now, then at least more accustomed to it. In Victorian and early Edwardian times the infant mortality rate was high and life expectancy in general was far shorter than it is today. Photographs were expensive, and mostly reserved for special occasions. In many cases, no photograph of a loved one (especially a child) existed before they died, so having a portrait made after death was a way to hold onto a visual remembrance of them.

Re: postmortem photography (part 2)

Even a sad memory was better than no memory at all. By the early 20th century mortality rates began to lessen. Many people could afford their own cameras and were able to photograph family members while alive. Having portraits of the living made post mortem portraits unnecessary, and they became less and less desirable. And as for the collectors of post mortem photography, I like the description Ransom Riggs gives in his magazine, mental_floss: "The taboos of sex and death switched places in the last hundred years. The Victorians would’ve been shocked at the erotic images you find everywhere in the 21st century, but didn’t flinch when it came to making images of their dead loved ones.

Re: postmortem photography (part 3)

I’d like to think that the people who collect those photos are just as interested in this lost way of life — or rather, way of death; a set of rituals that now seem alien to us — as they are in the gruesome ghost babies themselves." (www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/83929) Today most large hospital neo-natal intensive care units will offer to take a picture of parents holding their deceased infant. Some professional photographers even donate their time to the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, which helps grieving parents through the loss of their stillborn or infant children by giving the gift of professional portraiture.