I'm not completely sure if this has something to do with this drawing but I suppose it referes to the fact that in the 19th century people took photos of their dead family members, usually while sitting on benches or chairs. Sometimes even more than one, just like here. I guess that's also the meaning of the skull. Anyway, I really, really like this drawing
I would have to agree with Lupa. Back then, it was very common for family members to want to preserve the memory of their loved ones, even after death. Wires and metal rods would be strung through their clothing to keep them sitting upright and to manage their poses. I wouldn't be surprised if that was what the artist was trying to portray with this drawing. Good concept and beautifully done.