William Notman Cabinet Cards of Yale Black Men

Lot of 3 cabinet cards of African American men. William Notman (1826-1891): [New Haven?], n.d., ca 1876. Recto imprint: “William Notman - Montreal, Toronto & Halifax”; Verso imprint: “W. Notman / Photographer to Her Majesty / Montreal / Branches at / Toronto and Halifax.”

Photographs include a beautifully composed shot of six black men. Three men in suits stand at the back, two sit in chairs tilted towards the center, with the sixth man seated on the floor wearing a knit cardigan sweater, his elbow resting on the knees of one of the seated men. Lot also includes a vignette portrait of an elderly man in a suit and a full-length portrait of a fruit merchant wearing knee-length boots next to his vendor’s basket. The subjects are attributed as men associated with Yale University taken in New Haven, Connecticut. 

William Notman was a Scottish-Canadian photographer with an international reputation. He was based in Montreal but had several studio locations and maintained seasonal branches at both Harvard and Yale to capitalize off of the student populations. While Notman was a prolific photographer, examples with people of color are exceedingly scarce. The apparently unique images do not appear in the McCord Collection. 

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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