Thursday, February 11, 2021

Europe Week, Day 2 - Fig Leaves and Gladiator Sandals

Despite being less prudish than the Americans, European photographers and publishers used fig leaves in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, especially with well known subjects.  In today's series we look at some of these which also feature gladiator sandals, another hallmark of the era.  We start with the immortal Eugen Sandow who will also appear at the end of the set.



  1. Sandow was one of the first "beefcake" males whose picture I ran across when I was a kid. I think that's when I read about attaching the fig leaves using strings attached on the back that were tied around his penis and scrotum.

  2. I just looked at the "Sandow" section of your blog again, Jerry. Do you think he might have been reluctant to do full frontal poses because his penis was not so big? They were far less inhibited back then, and I have not seen so many photos from back then. The few I have seen showed men who were nicely hung. You're the ace. What do you think?

    1. I think I posted a photo of Sandow being cast in plaster where his equipment was shown, and it did seem perhaps a bit on the lower side of average. Very, very few of the celebrity strong men and champion wrestlers of that era posed frontally nude, and that one of Sandow was not supposed to have ever been published. There were a few exceptions such as one of the seven Deriaz brothers, Adrian, but scholars and collectors have searched in vain for frontal nudes of Hackenschmidt, Louis Cyr, Arthur Saxon, and many others. Yes, the Europeans produced scads of fully nude male photos back then, but 99% of them were anonymous models and working men who needed extra cash. And don't start me on the photoshopped fakes in circulation.

    2. That's where I saw his phallus. But I was not aware that there are photoshopped fakes of photos from that era. Maybe those were the ones I saw. No erections, but plenty of full frontal. Or maybe they wete the working men. It was awhile back, so my memory is not clear.