There is a saying in the modern day marketing industry: 'Sex Sells' and this was just as true back in the Georgian and Victorian periods, very often depicted in antique intaglio and cameo rings. However the antique jewelry erotica was much more tastefully done than a lot of the 'sex' marketing of today.
Annette Curtis, when writing about Erotic Antiques says: 'Erotica is not the official blue tinted art of the underground and it is not necessarily pornographic; it is the art of titillation, arousing often amusing, but never shocking. Ladies in the antique period might blush - an unfashionable skill now - but not faint, and men for whom this antique jewelry was made to appeal to, would probably be more admiring of their ingenuity than sexually stirred. In the main most erotic antique jewelry was cleverly designed and executed, slightly 'rude' or 'naughty', and some of the antique jewelry pieces were quite blatantly a tease.Antique erotic jewelry was a reflection of the mentality of a section of the population from past times, and the variations in mood that corresponded with Victorian & Edwardian social, religious and political changes and the differing attitudes towards sex. The different types of antique jewelry depicting erotica are the playthings of the past and have made eyes shine with excitement or amusement for many generations. Most of this style Antique and Vintage Jewelry was made in Europe, but much was imported from Japan and China, especially during the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century when the demand for erotic antique jewelry was recognized and exploited.In Antique jewelry the terms erotic itself is hard to define, and to Antique Jewelry dealer's like Beverly R Antique Jewelry, rings, pendants and enamels of an erotic nature remains popular and continues to stimulate interest with antique collectors and connoisseurs alike.When the subject of Erotic Antique Jewelry is referred to most people will express an interest, some will giggle, very few show distaste or total disinterest. So who collects erotic antique jewelry? and the answer is just about anybody! Men and Women, young and old, any religion or race from all around the world, and all throughout history.Antiques of an erotic nature has always been of particular interest to artists and art collectors from the Bronze Age through Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro periods to modern time, and it is one subject that has been a constant in the Antique jewelry tradition.The Ancient Greeks and then later the Romans usually considered as the originators of the western civilization, had a very well developed sense of beauty that appreciated and valued the pure joy of sex, and was very often depicted in micro mosaic antique jewelry, though the Roman antique jewelry was never as fine as the Greek.Many of the Victorian & Edwardian Antique Jewelry depicting erotica, was either depicted in Intaglio rings and at the piece we have pictured, is a piece signed by Pickler showing a Satyr trying to seduce one of the Vestal virgins or in enamel scenes on the inside of lockets or pocket watches. It was also an age where they had mechanical pieces where figures can move back and forwards, and these were often stick pins worn on Cravats.