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The courtesan Nancy Parsons as she appeared in Town and Country Magazine. Her image was one in a series of portraits of celebrated 18th-century beauties.

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Capturing the moment his luck ran out: Black-and-white pictures of mob leader Charles 'Lucky' Luciano and the high class prostitutes that led to his 1936 arrest

'Lucky' Luciano and the high class prostitutes that brought him down

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The Ladies of Versailles

Born Jeanne Becu, she was a high class prostitute, eventually marrying her pimp's brother, Guillaume du Barry. The marriage afforded her a title, and made her a more appropriate consort for the King. She claimed royal heritage where there was none and was loathed by Marie Antoinette. Upon Louis XV's death from smallpox, she was exiled from Versailles.

Bellocq: Storyville Portraits, Storyville,New Orleans Red light district. John Bellocq (1873 – 1949) was an American professional photographer who worked in New Orleans during the early 20th century. Bellocq is remembered for his haunting photographs of the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ legalized red light district.



Alice Marot, a high class prostitute who appeared in “The Pretty Women of Paris”, a privately printed guide to Paris’s best courtesans and prostitutes. Photographed by M. M. Benque, a well known celebrity photographer.

18th-century French courtesan Rosalie Duthe, history's original "dumb blonde." (Wikimedia Commons)

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The 9 Most Famous Prostitutes In History

Lulu was one of the staples of the New Orleans red light scene in the early 1900s. She wasn’t just a prostitute, she was an entrepreneur. She ran the most successful brothel in town, Mahogany Hall, and she only spent her nights with the most powerful men. Like a real dame.

Cora Pearl (1835–July 8, 1886), born Emma Elizabeth Crouch was a 19th century courtesan of the French demimonde, who enjoyed her greatest celebrity during the period of the Second French Empire.

LIANE DE POUGY was a Folies Bergères dancer renowned as one of Paris's most beautiful and notorious courtesans.

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The 9 Most Famous Prostitutes In History

Calamity Jane wasn't exactly trying to be a prostitute—at least not full-time. After all, she looked masculine. But when she wasn't scouting and shooting Indians, which was what she was really known for, she was rumored to be paid for sleepin' with cowboys at Fort Laramie.

This was a card given to men to advertise houses of prostitution. When men came into town, they were sneakingly given these kinds of cards at the train station up until the 1930s or so.All cities had houses of prostitution,the women were called "Soiled Doves" in the Victorian era.It was considered "normal" to have these brothels, they paid taxes etc. During the Civil War there was such a huge epidemic of venereal disease that in 1 town the army quarantined the women on a river boat. Biddy…

A picture from the turn of the century of a French prostitute with her madame and a client. © The Granger Collection, New York.

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Carolina “La Belle” Otero (4 November 1868 – 12 April 1965) was a Galician (Spain) born dancer, actress and courtesan.......