Did you know that in 1817 the Church had banned the production of erotic watches?

In the late 17th century, the enamel painters began to create more suggestive decorations, intended for a male clientele. While seductive, half-naked young women adorned enamelled cases and shells, much more daring and even pornographic scenes appeared inside the domes or in secret boxes concealed by a movable cover. The most sophisticated designs produced automatons whose frolics, accompanied by chiming bells, were repeated at fixed times.

This fashion grew to such an extent that the Church, which of course, strongly disapproved of this kind of licentious gadget, succeeded in 1817 in banning production. Some watches were then seized to be destroyed. Others only owe their survival to the meticulous scratching of their erotic decor.

 

A lot more in the exhibition Once upon a time, until September 17.