Muscles from Mockba.
That’s Moscow to you and me. It’s certainly a Russian relic, this little photo. Been through hard times and is sadly the worse for wear. Stained, torn and bent.
But a youthful charm and vitality radiates from it still, after nearly a century. Meet champion wrestler and bodybuilder, Nikolay Verdan. Unfortunately no idea what’s written on the verso (see scan below).
Nikolay’s expression and smile brings to mind not The Rock so much as The Mona Lisa. Maybe a touch naughty, a bit flirtatious? He seems to look at and react to someone standing on the photographer’s right.
How does he manage to look so butch with his Gumby hair and a girlie hands-on-hips pose? Must be the thick neck, enormously wide shoulders and bulging muscles.
Is he wearing some sort of briefs underneath his clinging MOCKBA shorts or have I been staring at his strangely spanxed crotch too long? I do believe there’s more there than meets the eye.
Original vintage physique photo c. 1920s.
2 7/8" x 4 1/2"