Bordell (Brothel) is the second of Otto Schoff’s ‘orgy’ portfolios from the early 1920s, this time experimenting with colour. Another Gurlitt collaboration (though again showing no publisher details in order to avoid official attention), Bordell appears to have been marginally more available than the previous two portfolios, the limitation indicating an edition of thirty copies. Each of the ten engravings was coloured by hand in crayon, so no two copies of each plate are the same.

As in several of the similar French portfolios of ‘maisons closes’ from the period (those of Assire, Courbouleix and Vertès come to mind), Schoff shows the working women of the brothel at work and at rest, suggesting that he was intimately familiar with the internal workings of at least one such establishment.

We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.