Die Sünden-Thaler (The Wages of Sin) appeared around 1925, and bears all the hallmarks of a Berlin-published portfolio, though it is not by Gurlitt, the foremost publisher of such works during the 1920s. This copy is number 87 of 100 numbered and signed copies.

The twelve engravings, rather in the style of von Bayros but nothing like as complex, are accomplished but not outstanding, mildly provocative but not particularly inspired. The portfolio is very much a product of its time, when any artist who wanted to make a name for themself was producing a suite of titillating erotic engravings.

Each plate has a title:

  1   Tändelei (Dalliance)
  2   Auf dem Sofa (On the Couch)
  3   In den Dünen (In the Dunes)
  4   Unterm Schirm (Under the Umbrella)
  5   Angenehme Last (Pleasant Burden)
  6   Gefährliches Spiel (Dangerous Game)
  7   Auf der Terrasse (On the Terrace)
  8   Unterwegs (Underway)
  9   In der Hängematte (In the Hammock)
10   Belauscht (Overheard)
11   Lieber Besuch (A Visit from the Beloved)
12   Im Korn (In the Cornfield)

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.