{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘swords’ tag


Walking sticks


If I have to use a walking stick in future then my choice of implement would have certain requirements… Who needs an Apple watch when there are timepieces like these to be found? This elegant design is from Alexander McQueen so it isn’t cheap. I wouldn’t say no to one as a present, however. Most […]

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Weekend links 257


The Nine of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith, and the same card from The Ghetto Tarot, a Haitian deck created by photographer Alice Smits and Haitian art group Atis Rezistans. Almost four months after the murders in Paris, Charlie Hebdo continues to be problematic, to use a common epithet. The “p” word occurs with such frequency […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {religion} | 5 comments »


New blade


The Men with swords thread has been rather moribund of late but I did manage to make at post at the beginning of the year. This new addition, a suggestion by Clive (thanks, Clive!), was irresistible so it can help see the year out. Don’t ask why there’s a katana on the bed, I doubt […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 2 comments »


Art of Fencing


Race Imboden. The Men with swords archive hasn’t received much attention recently, the last addition being in May 2012. Had I been more diligent I might have found a photo or two of American fencer Race Imboden before now, the picture above being one of many such images at a Pinterest page entitled Art of […]

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John Austen’s Hamlet


The 1922 edition of Hamlet “decorated” by British artist John Austen (1886–1948) is a lot more visible today than it was a few years ago, thanks to a reprint by Dover Publications in their Calla Editions series. The scans here are from an original printing at VTS. Austen’s Hamlet is often rated as his chef […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


Ray Harryhausen, 1920–2013


Concept art for Jason and the Argonauts (1963). He could also draw, something the obituaries won’t necessarily mention. I wasn’t aware of Ray Harryhausen’s many detailed preliminary drawings until I had the good fortune to see him give a talk at the Preston SF Group in the early 1990s. I recall mention being made of […]

Posted in {animation}, {fantasy}, {film}, {music} | 4 comments »


Swords against death


Earlier this week Mr BibliOdyssey posted a link on Twitter to a blog entry of his from 2008, a collection of prints by Dutch artist Alexander Ver Huell (1822–1897). If I’d seen his post originally I didn’t recall it so this swordfight gives me an opportunity to draw attention to Ver Huell’s macabre and diabolical […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators} | 3 comments »


Tamotsu Yato’s men with katanas


Unidentified model from Otoko (1972). Two photos by Tamotsu Yato (c. 1928–1973), a pioneer of homoerotic photography in Japan who published his work in three collections: Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan (1967), Naked festival: A Photo-Essay (1969), and Otoko: Photo-Studies of the Young Japanese Male (1972). Yukio Mishima introduced the first two volumes, and also […]

Posted in {books}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Fechtbuch von 1467


The men with swords theme exhausts itself pretty quickly unless you want to draw continual attention to martial statuary, or those softcore beefcake photos where—as we’ve seen on several occasions—the sword is a subterfuge for other concerns. Hans Thalhofer (or Talhoffer: c. 1420–c. 1490) was a German fencing master whose Fechtbuch von 1467 is worth looking […]

Posted in {books} | 2 comments »


The Classical alibi in physique photography


Stowitts photographed by Nickolas Muray. The title is from two gallery pages at the Queer Arts Resource which runs through a history of the old subterfuge whereby homoerotic pictures were decorated to look suitably Greek or Roman. This seldom fooled anyone, even in Oscar Wilde’s day, but it no doubt helped to keep the studios […]

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Weekend links 53


Ancient Egyptian capitals from The Grammar of Ornament (1856) by Owen Jones at Egyptian Revival. • Golden Age Comic Book Stories has been pulling out all the stops recently with entries for Will Bradley, Alphonse Mucha’s Documents Decoratifs (a companion volume to Combinaisons Ornementales), and pages from My Name is Paris (1987) illustrated by Michael […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {photography} | 5 comments »


Men without swords


They’ve got fencing masks, white undies and white socks so, really, who needs the swords? From Isaac y Manu, a series by Gorka Postigo who I’m pleased to say makes a feature of white underwear in other shoots such as this one. Via Homotography. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The men with swords archive

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Totem and tattoo


My thanks to Clive for suggesting this stunning photo, another jewel dredged from the Tumblr swamps which, after some searching around, I discovered originates here. The model is a Brit named Ben, and the blog page showing more of his pictures describes his body art as “one of the sexiest tattoos I’ve ever seen on […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Vintage swordplay #5


In honour of the overturning of Prop 8 in California—and because I haven’t posted one of these for a while—another piece of beefy weapon-handling. No idea who this fellow is but he can be seen a lot bigger (if not actually tumescent) at the Haunted Lamp, a place of assorted delights that you really ought […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography}, {politics} | 1 comment »


The art of Dmitry Dmitriev


The Silver Hero. One of a number of homoerotic works by this Russian artist, very similar in places to George Quaintance. Oh, and with swords, of course… Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The gay artists archive • The men with swords archive

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {painting} | 3 comments »


Vintage swordplay #4


The Crusader by George Quaintance (1943). Continuing an occasional series, I was hoping to find the original photo which George Quaintance used as a model for this painting but failed dismally. I did find the photo below, however, a piece of Roman camp by beefcake photographer Alonzo Hanagan, aka ‘Lon of New York’ on this […]

Posted in {art}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {painting}, {photography} | 5 comments »


Frank Frazetta, 1928–2010


Conan the Adventurer aka The Barbarian (1965). How to appraise Frank Frazetta? In November last year I wrote about this Conan portrait for an SF Signal Mind Meld feature on favourite book covers: The covers that launched a thousand imitators. Lancer’s series of Conan books in the 1960s were the first appearance of Howard’s barbarian […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {magazines}, {painting}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »




Further additions to the Men with swords archive courtesy of The Other Andrew. The model is one Peter Gordon who appeared with his brother, Sandy, in physique sessions photographed by “Spartan” in the 1950s. I don’t know whether these shots came from VMP originally but that site has the same pictures and many more, and […]

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Salomé scored


Alla Nazimova as Salomé (1923). I wrote a while ago about Alla Nazimova’s luscious silent film production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, a suitably Decadent affair with an allegedly all-gay cast, and costume and stage design based on Aubrey Beardsley’s celebrated illustrations. The film is currently touring England and Wales with a new score for four […]

Posted in {beardsley}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Fencing fashion again


A brace of elegant fencers posing for an Elle Italia spread by photographer Ruven Afanador whose Torero series was highlighted here in April. Afanador’s recent work is worth a look for the set showing a model posing in an antiquated schoolroom among bones and stuffed animals. Via Homotography. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The […]

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