A Catalina Fish Boudoir Card, Catalina Island, California, circa 1900

Boudoir card with images on recto and verso, comprising:

Outdoor posed portrait of an African American man with a fish that is longer than he is tall and outweighs him by a factor of 2 plus. Titled in the negative: "302 A Catalina Fish, 510 lbs." alongside photographer identification "Waite Photo." Penciled below image is "H.N. Smith," who may be the man in the photo. 

Outdoor photograph of two white youngsters with a fish nearly their size. Titled in negative "367 Otto(?) Jew Fish, Catalina Isl." Also by Waite. 

Fishing tourism was exceedingly popular in California from the 1890s to 1910, with quite a few professional photographers working at popular spots to document catches. This image here is exceedingly rare, with no other fishing photographs with African American subjects known. 


Very good. Possibly trimmed a bit along one edge.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us


Cowan’s cannot guarantee items paid for after November 25 will arrive before December 25. For expedited shipping, we recommend using a third-party shipper. 

Cowan’s Cincinnati Office offers an in-house, full-service shipping department which is unparalleled in the auction industry. Shipping costs are provided with your finalized invoice 24-48 hours after auction. For furniture and oversized items, we recommend using third-party services. For more information, click HERE or contact cowansshipping@hindmanauctions.com.  

NOTE: All pickups and preview are by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 513-871-1670 or email cincinnati@hindmanauctions.com