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Erotic subjects have appeared in variety of artistic guises from ancient times: images of an erotic nature became a real “genre” in the decorative arts, particularly during the mid-Eighteenth Century and especially in central Europe. Pocket watches, snuff-boxes and buttons all adopted techniques for depicting erotic scenes with an enameled picture either inside a false bottom or underneath a specially designed cover, but carved ivory was the preferred material for the naughtiest images on canes.

The most explicit handles were found on canes which would be shown by their owner to his friends at home, rather than on canes which were carried round, but walking sticks were also made with apparently normal handles which hid a highly erotic scene on the inside.

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