This suite of five photographs invites us into an interesting demi-monde of sorts, documenting anonymous men at their ablutions in a French spa in the town of Aix Les Bains. The town, in Eastern France, still attracts visitors to its hot sulfur springs. But these are rituals of a more indoor nature.
There are rubdowns, dousings, and various treatments achieved with elaborate pieces of equipment. (Alas, we don't know the details.) Note, in particular the fabulous, small study of a man encased in an entirely circular shower. As jets of water spray him from all sides, a flat contraption he wears on his head protects his hairstyle from getting wet. He's most likely wearing shorts for modesty’s sake. Were the scene not being photographed, he'd be au natural.
All are albumen prints in good condition (only four are illustrated here). Matted, in various dimensions not exceeding 5" x 7".
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Medium 5 Albumen Prints
Photo Date 1870c. Print Date 1870 c.
Dimensions 6 x 4 in. (152 x 102 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Charles Schwartz Ltd.