Quite why this visual tale of the punishment of a young woman came to be called The Fruits of Love is hard to fathom; it certainly isn’t acceptable today and surely wasn’t a century ago either. This anonymous set of images depicts the story of a girl who is apparently taken in by an older couple and who, while undergoing various chastisements, is also available for other’s ‘pleasures’. The captions are in French handwriting, so we assume it originated in France, though the fact that it appeared on the banned list of the Berlin police department in 1932 suggests that at least one copy had made its way to Germany. Maybe they just wanted it for their library – for educational purposes naturally.

Copies of Les desserts d’amour exist in both black and white and colour, both versions being photographic reproductions of an original drawn version. The numbering on known copies would suggest that 10 colour versions and 42 black ones were made. As well as being anonymous, no place or date of publication are given, but the style places it fairly firmly in the early to mid 1920s.

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.