Das Hündchen der Marquise (The Marchioness’s Lap-dog, or in the original French Le petit chien de la marquise) is a short story by Théophile Gautier, first published in the December 1836 issue of Le Figaro. It is a very slight rococo romance, in which the Duke Alcindor has to compete with the eponymous lap-dog for the favours of the Countess Éliante.

The story clearly appealed to Schoff, whose imagination had no problem adding a series of colour illustrations and small monochrome decorations to this erotic version of Gautier’s tale.

Hündchen is another Gurlitt production, which was originally produced in an edition of 300 copies in the publisher’s ‘Neuen Bilderbücher’ (New Picture Books) series with etchings by Paul Scheurich; a year later the same text was used for the Schoff version, the artist using the pseudonym Scheibenberger – ‘scheiben’ in German means ‘to slice’, and Schoff certainly sliced through erotic convention to produce the explicit images for Hündchen. For the Schoff version the publisher information was omitted in order to avoid any problem with the authorities.

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.