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A silk handkerchief printed with a description of an erotic encounter with the words in the form of breasts. Mixed media, 1802, after E. Parny.

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Confession d'une jolie femme. Extrait des Oeuvres diverses de E. Parny.


    A fantastically elaborate confection. In large gold letters along the top appear the words "Confession d'une jolie femme", like a necklace. Below, as if in the decolletage, appear the letterpress words "Extrait des Oeuvres diverses de E. Parny", and a fleuron printed in gold. Below, in the form of two breasts, are extracts from the writings of Parny, printed in circles with the nipples represented by asterisks. The breasts are surrounded by a chain of alternating black and white shapes representing diamonds and pearls. Below is the printer's device: Apollo with his harp, laurels, and the wreathed trumpets of fame. Around the edge of the sheet are eight ornamental woodcut borders. The silk sheet is mounted on blue cardboard with its own border printed in black and gold.


      Credit: Wellcome Collection

      Free to use with attribution

      CC BY