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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Wrestling Day, Part 2 - 1900 Era Fig Leaf


Part Two of our wrestling day features some big name Eastern European wrestlers from the early 20th Century in fig leaf photos.  We start with Georg Hackenschmidt (1877-1968) who is one 
of three Estonians featured in this group.  He was the first recognized world 
professional wrestling champion and eventually settled in London where he became
 a close friend of author George Bernard Shaw, of all people.

9 comments:

  1. An interesting set. The model in the first picture would seem to wearing a fixed fig leaf. I assume tied around his, er equipment. The others maybe have had the fig leaf added in when copying?

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    1. As usual, you raise some interesting points for discussion. I've read that string, paste, and hair pins were used to affix paper and cloth fig leaves. (Must have been great work if you could get it.) The obvious frequent use of post photo session paint-overs raises the tantalizing likelihood that there are or were fully nude versions of some of these images. I've managed to find a very few of those, but they're out there. Some Mid-Twentieth Century physique photographers actually penciled in posing straps that their customers could erase in a latter day version of the practice.

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    2. Thanks. I'm now thinking of making a fig leaf for myself. I life modelling friend often wears what appears to be a metallic shell to cover his bits. It is in fact a plastic shell sprayed silver fastened to a sprung side-less thong that wraps round the bottom of one buttock.I'd like a real metal one or perhaps plaster..

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    3. I don'k know if your clients would be amused or disappointed (or both) if you showed up with a fig leaf!

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    4. Amused...I think...I take inspiration from all types of depictions of the male nude...so why not..probably as a strong man pose..

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  2. I googled this man to verify the dates. I was 8 years old when he died in 1968! He was 90! He was a very handsome young man. Think of the nascent things and events this man experienced in his lifetime: the automobile, both world wars, skyscrapers, the telephone, men in space. He spoke 7 languages. In 1941 he published The Way to Live. “Man is born without frying-pan or stewpot. The purest natural food for human beings would, therefore, be fresh, uncooked food and nuts.” He's worth a quick Google search.

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    1. Yes, he was a truly remarkable human being on several levels.

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    2. His life also overlaps with mine as it does by the way the last Muybridge model Thomas Love Latta 1865-1961. As you say very handsome..A magnificent physique and a great man..

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