This young man sat for his photo with two curly coated labs. I think. I’m not a total dog expert, but they look like labs to me. It was considered a specialty to be able to capture children and animals with no visible blurring of the subject in a photo. In this instance, there is some distortion around the area of the boy’s mouth, but I can’t tell if it was on the original print, or due to the various damage to the photo. You can see many marks, scratches and other faults. The dogs are focused to the right of frame while the boy is looking toward the viewer. On the very far right, you can see what looks like the arm of someone reaching into the frame – perhaps to hold the dog’s leash? I’m really not sure what’s going on there.
The photo is on a black card and identified Mrs. K. E. Mummey, dated 1888. (I had to tilt the card side to side to get the light just right, so it is of course possible that’s incorrect.) In such a situation, I would venture a guess that this was a memorial card after the child died – but it’s confusing why it would be titled Mrs…unless the mother had never been photographed? Memorial cards were sometimes used to send to family far away so they could see what the deceased person looked like. This is not a post mortem photo, but it is considered a memento mori photo, as that classification simply means “death memento.” A post mortem photo would actually show the person after death. There are many people who might think this is a post mortem due to a lack of understanding of the Victorian photographic process and misunderstanding of exactly what can be done with a deceased body. Because of that, I suspect there are far fewer true post mortem photos on auction sites than one would think based on search results.
The front of the card had the location at some point in history, but due to the damage to the lower right corner, the city name is gone and we can only see it started with an H or an R. Argonia claimed to pay special attention to children. There is a city named Argonia in Kansas. It is possible the studio was named for the city, of course. It’s nearly impossible to search though because of the many photographers in modern Argonia, KS.