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This evening I’ve had the good fortune to receive an image and enquiry from a fellow enthusiast of antique erotic photographs. Although I’ve posted this very picture before (my other copy perhaps a little clearer and pleasantly sepia-toned), I’m more than happy to answer your questions, and share it with those who may not be familiar with this spectacular titlating tableau!
I would estimate a date in the 1880s or 1890s - a remarkable number of pornographic images were created around this time, with distinctive models and individual studios’ backdrops being recognisable in various sets.
However, all is not as it seems with this delightful piece - you are by no means the first to take it at face value and assume an orgy of impressive proportions was taking place : but look a little closer. This is in fact a composite image of six seperate photographs, carefully trimmed and pasted into one intricate scene, which was then reproduced as a print. The most obvious join can be seen just right of centre, from the tip of the fellow’s black-socked toe to the lower edge. Just one of these pictures has emerged alone, unedited - the rest are still waiting to be found and shared with the modern audience.
One for those fans of vintage wrestling, early body building, or the muscular male form, a turn of the century portrait of Gustav Frištenský from Prague.
In addition to a website detailing his full biography, he can be seen in action on Youtube, in the earliest known film of a professional wrestling match.
Pavel Novatny and Carlo Festa
Corbin Fisher’s Quinn and Kellan