Your cart
translation missing: en.general.icons.close_alt Icon

Blog

Cain of London: Sale of Gay and Leather Fetish Photos

Cain of London: Sale of Gay and Leather Fetish Photos

On November 18, 2021 a large collection of prints, contact prints, negatives and ephemera from the estate of Anthony Clifford Burls (AKA Cain of London) was sold by Dominic Winter Auctioneers for £6,000.

Not so well known on this side of the Atlantic, Cain photographed shirtless fairground workers, footballers and guys in leather, often on motorcycles. Most of the photos were taken in the late 1960s and early 70s.

Continue reading

Ed Theriault, Vintage Physique Photo by Russ Warner

Ed Theriault, Vintage Physique Photo by Russ Warner

Dramatic vintage photo of the amazing Ed Theriault, by Russ Warner c. 1952. 

Theriault packed a huge amount of muscle onto his 5'-1," 132 lb. frame. He was known for combining bodybuilding with gymnastics and hand balancing.

In "Your Physique" magazine he was described as "the most perfectly developed man of his size in the world." He humbly responded: "I'm proud to accept such acclaim although I feel I don't deserve such a unique distinction." He died in 2003, age 84.

Sepia print with gloss finish, 7 1/2" x 7 1/4," with studio stamp on verso.

Very good condition overall but there are a number of corner bends and some white dots. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding condition.

Looking at the notes on the verso, this photo was sent to the printer along with instructions. "April MP, p. 24, duotone..." 

1947, Canada's Most Perfect Physique - IFBB, Most Muscular, 1st

1948, Mr Eastern North America - IFBB, Short, 1st

1949, Canada's Most Perfect Physique - IFBB, Winner

1950, Best Developed Athlete in America - IFBB, Short, 1st

1959, Universe - IFBB, Short, 1st 

 

Continue reading

Queer Eye for Caravaggio

Queer Eye for Caravaggio

The only known Caravaggio ceiling painting, it spans a small room (approximately 30 square feet) in Villa Aurora in Rome. The mural represents three gods, -- Jupiter with his eagle, Neptune with his seahorse, and Pluto with his three-headed dog Cerberus -- gathered around a translucent sphere.

It was commissioned by cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte in 1597, who used the room as an alchemical laboratory.

It's an astonishing work of art in many ways, but there's one detail that stands out to the queer viewer. Pluto has a healthy patch of pubic hair above his dick. Which is to say, he has a "dick," not a "penis." And seen from below it's almost as if the viewer is on his knees looking up at it.

Maybe not surprising that Caravaggio represents Pluto, god of the underworld, with genitals exposed.

caravaggio ceiling mural detail

Continue reading

Stan of Sweden

Stan of Sweden

Little documentation exists about the physique photographer known as “Stan of Sweden.” Universal Hunks by David L. Chapman notes that Stan was a bodybuilder and photographer in Gothenburg, Sweden in the 1960s. Recognized for non-nudes, his photos include many competition shots that appear in traditional bodybuilding magazines of the period.

The best overview of his work is the Vol. 3, #3 (Winter 1966) issue of The Vikings. The majority of his photos were published in the early to mid-1960s. One of the earliest print references is from Tomorrow's Man, Feb. 1962. 

Of course he issued photographic catalog sheets, of which we have a few examples on the Homobilia site. His models are mostly Swedish or Scandinavian and include not just physique models but what might have been considered “trade” or as the French would say, “mecs.” 

He did like to assign pithy little labels like “Hans The Defined,” or “Niels That Nature Boy.” Perhaps the most well-known model he photographed was the incomparable Serge Nubret. His “Art Experiments” catalogs offer dramatically lit, close-up studio shots which reveal a different sort of Stan (not least in that they feature nudes). 

Besides posing trunks, there’s an emphasis on tight jeans and leather accessories. Props including swords, guns and ice hooks show up occasionally. Studio backgrounds tend to be stark white though there were also a substantial number of outdoor photo sessions. There are a few examples of two models posing together.

There are two different studio stamps: the basic “STAN” stamp and the larger “Gothenburg” stamp.

Stan of Sweden small ogo 

Stan of Sweden large logo

Here's a rare signed letter from Stan to one of his customers, a Mr. Burts, in the U.K.

Stan of Sweden vintage photographer letter to customer

 

 

Continue reading

Rare Cross Dressing Photo Album at Swann

Rare Cross Dressing Photo Album at Swann

A rare album with over 150 photos of male cross dressers in exquisite outfits including evening gowns and a wedding dress, was sold as part of Swann Galleries' LGBTQ sale (08/19/21). The price realized was $11,250.

The photos are artfully composed and set in an elegant apartment. They span over a decade from 1930 to 1941. The number of sittings,  combinations of poses, and attention to detail convey the joy and care with which each photo was created.

Continue reading

Royale and Hussar Photos Sold in London

Royale and Hussar Photos Sold in London

An archive of homoerotic photographs from the 1950s-1960s at Bonham's "The Male Form" sale fetched £ 22,750 (US$ 30,952) on June 16th. It included over 850 silver gelatin prints.

Basil Clavering, owner of the successful Gala-Royale cinema chain, built a studio in the basement of his Pimlico home with his friend John Charles Parkhurst. Both had served in the Navy, and they paid military men around the Hyde Park and Chelsea barracks to model.

The studio operated under two names: Royale and Hussar. They sold the photographs by mail order.

The images are erotically charged although there's no frontal nudity. Models were often in groups, and scenarios involve uniforms, military and naval discipline, wrestling, and bondage.
.
Royale and Hussar vintage gay photo

Continue reading

Carte-de-visite of a Handsome Cricket Player

Carte-de-visite of a Handsome Cricket Player

This charming studio portrait exudes a casual upper-class British elegance. The painted backdrop is cleverly done to erase any separation from the studio floor. 

But there's an intriguing story behind the image created by Jennie Rewman, "Manageress" of The Worthing Portrait Company.

In the 1891 census Rewman is described as a "Photographer's Assistant" aged 35. She was boarding at Miss Florence Stewart's Lodging House at 40 High Street, Worthing. Miss Stewart, the proprietor of the lodging house, was later to join Rewman as a partner in the Worthing Portrait Company.

The 1901 census records both Miss Rewman and Miss Stewart residing at their business premises at 4 Railway Approach, Worthing. Rewman is entered on the census return as a "Photographer (Employer at home)" aged 46, and the same occupational description is given to 47 year old Florence Kate Stewart.



The two photographers employed a number of assistants, and one can be identified as Frances Clarke, who in the 1901 census is recorded as a twenty-one year old "Photographer (worker)."

It was certainly uncommon for women of the period to own and manage their own photography studios. That Miss Rewman and Miss Steward also shared a residence is thought-provoking. Of course we'll never know the intimate details of their relationship and mustn't engage in idle speculation.

of a Handsome Cricket Player Verso

Carte-de-visite of a Handsome Cricket Player
Worthing Portrait Company, c. 1900.
4 1/2" x 6 1/2" in very good condition.

Continue reading

I Dream of St. Sebastian

I Dream of St. Sebastian

To call this photo a “male nude in posing strap” does not do it justice. It’s more of a 60s-sit-com-Christian-icon mashup.

The adjustable gold lamé posing strap does a piss-poor job of concealing his pubic hair, but thanks to precise positioning, cock and balls are veiled. Everything’s held in place by a gold chain. The look is very "I Dream of Jeannie."

Standing with his back against a California Pepper tree, this 60s Sebastian is no martyr. Rather than being pierced by arrows, he holds a saber above his head. Hair spills from his armpits as the edge of his lithe body is lit by the morning sun. He confronts the camera with a serious expression that belies the silly tableau. 

Interesting note about Saint Sebastian: The arrows didn’t kill him. He was, according to tradition, rescued and healed by Saint Irene. After recovering, he went to Emperor Diocletian to caution him about his sins and was promptly clubbed to death.

8” x 10” print on gloss paper
Very good condition

No studio marks
Undated c. 1960s





Continue reading

Ready for Their Close-up: Vintage Catalog Photos from Altman Galleries

Ready for Their Close-up: Vintage Catalog Photos from Altman Galleries

These utilitarian photos record the diverse inventory of Hollywood’s Altman Galleries in the 1920s and 30s. Clearly the photographer paid scant attention to composition and made no concession to value or beauty. 

In contrast to the banal warehouse setting, a crystal chandelier kneels on a rough wood floor. A dusty gilt mirror glances at the ceiling joists. A glamorous velvet-covered chair practically begs to be stroked.

The latent personalities of these inanimate objects were revealed to the camera and captured in glossy sepia prints. Candid and forthright, they’re more like headshots than still-lifes. From bit players to leading ladies, they silently wait to be chosen for a star-turn on a soundstage or a supporting role in the boudoir. 

With a range of periods from Renaissance to Deco and styles from chateau chic to contemporary cool, Altman supplied whatever the myth required. Money was no object.

We see these pieces in their prime. But what has become of them 100 years later? Do they grace the homes of Hollywood royalty still, or have they been consigned to obscurity at the back of some second-hand furniture store? Worn-down and beaten-up, hoping for a comeback.

Sepia prints, 8” x 10,” gloss finish.
Mounted on linen backing with two-hole punch in a 1” wide binding strip.
Numbered, often with handwritten corrections in purple ink.
From the catalogs of the Altman Galleries, Hollywood, undated c. 1920s - 1930s

Continue reading

Nine Hippie Guys Having Fun

Vintage Photo 9 Hippie Guys Having Fun

Once upon a time there were gay hippies who came to San Francisco to find freedom and adventure and each other. And sex.

They weren’t glued to their phones. They didn’t shop at Room and Board. They didn’t work for start-ups. A lot of them didn’t “work” at all.

They had different values. They were artists, musicians and free spirits, arrayed in feathers and leathers and tight striped jeans. Young and unbowed by time or convention or AIDS or COVID.

A fleeting moment, captured by this rare photo, that reminds the isolated, lonely, frustrated and horny among us that it wasn’t always like this. Joy is part of our heritage. 

Vintage black and white photo, 8” x 10,” c. 1970.

Continue reading