Some things seem destined to remain shrouded in mystery, and thus it is with the engraver known as Peter Ohlsen. What we do know is that there is no record other than the title page of Die Sünden-Thaler that such an artist ever existed – there is no biographical information or evidence of other work by anyone of that name.

Ohlsen is a family name from Schleswig-Holstein in the far north of Germany, bordering Denmark. One auction record for Die Sünden-Thaler gives the artist some precise dates, 1863–1937, but these are the same dates as the only contemporaneous Peter Ohlsen we could find, pictured above, who was a Danish doctor. Unless the auction house in question knew that he was also an erotic engraver on the side, the attribution remains questionable.

We therefore have to conclude that ‘Peter Ohlson’ is a pseudonym, though for whom is also unanswered. If you have any clues or answers, please let us know.

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