Thursday, April 4, 2019

This photo was identified by a reputable on-line collector sales site as a Calafran photo, but I've seen that system of catalog numbers before, and it seems like it was for another studio.  
Could more than one publisher have used this or a similar system?


  1. I have a set of photos of "Phil" in this series, one of which is over-printed with the oddly-spelled "Galerie Vitruvian". Two are in colour, with Phil in a posing pouch and the last, of the image above, without the number. I have another similar set attributed to "Galerie Vitruvian, San Francisco", dated 1966, and a single, undated image over-printed "by Carlos of Vitruvian". The use of partial colour and a posing pouch would indicate a mid-60s shoot with the nude images released later with the relaxation of the law at the end of the decade. This side of the pond, I have been able to find out nothing about Vitruvian and so he may have been a photographer in his own right or a trading name for a known name for a mail order company to dodge the police. This seems likely, as I have quite a number of series of photos marked with similar coding. The models are young at a time when male erotica was gradually separating from the beefcake, muscleman culture.

    San Francisco would fit, as it was by then becoming a draw for the young but the uniformly short hairstyles - men's hair by the mid-60s in Britain was far longer with military service abolished earlier in the decade - indicates that perhaps they were from the huge naval base in San Diego from which they would migrate on weekend furlough, earn some pocket money stripping off, and then party. None of the models in these coded series is a known face from one of the major photographers' stables and all of them "anonymous".