Surf's up, 1890 style

12200907866?profile=originalForget about Blue Hawaii, Beach Boys or Big Wednesday. The surf's up for Dominic Winter as it auctions off the first ever picture of a surfer that has been found in a photo album dating back to 1890. The photo is of a Hawaiian beach boy photographed wearing a traditional loin cloth and shown standing in the shallows holding his rudimentary board.

Altogether, two albums containing 102 mounted albumen prints, c. 1887-1897 and bought by a private dealer at a house clearance many years ago, have been submitted for auction with a pre-sale estimate of £10,000. Other subjects in the albums include photos of native women from Hawaii and Fiji, some of Hawaiin Royalty including King Kalakaua - who died in 1891 - Queen Liliuokalani and Princess Kaiulani.

You can view Lot 865 from the catalogue here.


Photo:  The photograph of the lone surfer would appear to be one of the earliest known photographs of the subject. 
The Bishop Museum in Honolulu holds 24.7 million items relating to Hawaii and the Pacific. Last autumn it held an exhibition about surfing and included their copy of the same image of the lone surfer as a highlight of the exhibition.

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