[Pair of Victorian Semi-Erotic, Hand-Colored Lithographic Prints Depicting Reclining Women, One of Whom is Smoking].
Semi-clothed and smoking in antebellum America
Pair of semi-erotic Victorian lithographs depicting lone women in provocative poses, each reclining a private garden colonnade. One of the images shows the woman’s full décolletage; wearing a barely closed dressing gown, she casually smokes.
These visually secluded women are shown relaxing. One reclines with both hands behind her head; the other seems to be enjoying a reverie, her free hand touching her brow, the other hand casually holding a cigarette or cigarillo. The images present two semi-clothed, semi-private thresholds at which the viewer stands gazing.
Neither of these hand-colored lithographs have imprints at the usual places along the bottom of the image. Perhaps they are proofs? Lithographer Nathaniel Currier made a lithograph in 1847 that showed a reclining woman smoking a cigarette,¹ so it is not too far out of the mainstream. With his partner James Merritt Ives, Currier also published The Morning Star, a hand-colored lithograph that shows a décolleté woman reclining in her bed.²
Description: [Pair of Victorian Semi-Erotic, Hand-Colored Lithographic Prints Depicting Reclining Women, One of Whom is Smoking].
[Np, c.1840s–1860s]. Two hand-colored lithographic prints. 7½ x 10¾ inches and 8¼ x 11 inches, overall. Images both 7 x 9½ inches. Trimmed, not affecting images; irregular margins; very good.
Note. 1. Tate, Cigarette Wars (New York and Oxford, 1999), p96. 2. The Morning Star, Currier & Ives | Springfield Museums accessed online.