Cane and eroticism
The French revolution passes
After the end of the reign of Louis XIV (1715), at the beginning of the Eighteenth century, under the regency, Philippe d'Orléans continued the tradition of merry feasts.
Unfortunately, the walking stick wasn't the ideal receptacle for licentious secrets. The snuff box, the fly box, the box with false bottom are the winner.
The crown of the pommel of this cane curiosa, representing a woman with a hat, opens on a stage offhand, to say the least.
However, I discovered in a private collection, a cane with an enamelled pomel, decorated with a rupestrian landscape, of which the crown opened on scenery more than voluptuous. The owner, who didn't know the false bottom was more than happy.
Of a make somehow naive, this corrozo sculpted pomel, probably end of XVIII° century
Nothing special to say during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The cane is fashionable but keeps its austerity. The Directoire, though libertine -the gardens of the Palais royal, with the d'Orléans! What a family!- doesn't produce canes with an erotic meaning.
Of the libertine, the French writer Roger Vailland will write later that, precisely, the true face of the libertine is the one of austerity: (Outlines for the portrait of the true libertine)
"On the contrary, the libertine makes a choice. For him the attribute fussy / hard that is commonly used for obstinate people, seems adequate. He will become even more hard as soon as his taste becomes more educated. His specific virtue stands in the severity of his choice. We might also compare the libertine to these collectors that no virtuoso mean can lead out of his way - be it for dance, painting or bullfighting. He applies an always increasing rigor in his search for pleasure. That's why the true face of the Libertine is austerity."
In the revolutionary period, the cane will become the macho stick that the incroyables brandish.
But now the French revolution is gone, a wind of liberalism is blowing on France, and extends to the whole Europe. The exiles work off their frustrations in England. In Austria, the Viennese ladies warmely welcome them.
The fashion changes. Women dress or undress in a Grek style. Bust in the wind, thigh clear under the veil, they walk through the covered Parisian passages.
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