Slave for Sale, 1897, Jose Jimenez y Aranda (The sign reads Rose / 18 Years Old / For sale 800) Early Orientalists tended to portray slave girls as dejected and ashamed, as in Jimenez y Aranda’s painting above. (Male slaves, when they appeared, tended to be treated as grim and hypermasculine.) As Orientalists moved away from realistic settings, and took on more explicitly pornographic themes, they began to move away from this poignant-but-dark imagery, as well.
Bondage, 1890s, Ernest Normand ….and here’s where these fantasy slaves are going. Maybe it’s ancient Egypt, or Babylon, or just a fairy-tale palace. Anyway, it looks pretty nice, huh? Normand’s wife, Henrietta Rae, was also an accomplished Orientalist painter, also working on voluptuous nudes. They took a lot of flack for their choice of themes—a jealous rival trashed one of Henrietta’s paintings, and she in turn lit his hat on fire. But this opulent-happy
Ernest Normand, 1894, The White Slave And now we have transitioned to a complete D/s fantasy. The (white) girl has been sold into an Arabian-Nights otherworld, and she is displaying herself for her (non-white) masters. She is still shy, of course, but the emotion being invoked here is not horror or political critique, but raw sensuality: a (captive) princess fantasy.
The Slave Market, 1867, Jean-Leon Gerome Gerome travelled to Constantinople in 1853, when he was 29. He was already a prolific painter, and he soon became one of the most prolific and influential Orientalist artists. This painting, which we’ll come back to later on, is a step away from the realism of Roberts’ picture. It’s designed for voyeuristic appeal, and the D/s relations are foregrounded, whereas Robert’s slaves (and dealers) look slightly bored.
Slave Auction, Jean-Leon Gerome, 1880s. Soon, Gerome turned to even more fantastic settings and more erotic portrayals. Here we are in ancient Rome. All the slaves on display are white girls, stripped naked, and they’re obviously much-sought-after and apprehensive about it. The girl crouching on the right looks directly at you, the viewer, as if she hopes you’ll buy her. But still there are elements of historical realism.
The Steam-Powered Vibrator And Other Early Sex Machines As long as humans have had genitals, we’ve found artificial ways to stimulate them. But it took the repressed Victorian era to create the vibrator, a device aimed at curing a disease that doesn’t exist. Female Hysteria. The steam engine that drives this baby is piped in from the adjoining room. No quiet sex going on here. Start up the steam engine honey, we're gonna have some sex tonight.
MACAURA'S BLOOD CIRCULATOR Originally sold as the Macaura's Pulsocon and later renamed the Macaura's Blood Circulator. The action is a plunging motion of the center disk at the end. There were also applicators that would screw into the center disk. British patent 13932, I am unsure of the year this patent was issued due to complexities in the British patent numbering system. Some evidence suggests as early as the mid 1880's and other information suggests as late as the early 1900's. This…
MACAURA'S PULSOCON HAND VIBRATOR The action is a plunging motion of the center disk at the end combined with a rotating eccentric weight. There were also applicators that would screw into the center disk. Marked Pat. applied for, Serial No. 6681. Could be from as early as the early 1880's or as late as about 1900. Nothing like a good hand held.