Every Girl’s Crazy ‘Bout a Sharp-Dressed Man

Addison speaking on women’s weakness for dress, in Tatler issue 151 (1710):

“Many a lady has fetched a sigh at the toss of a wig, and been ruin’d by the tapping of a snuff-box. It is impossible to describe all the execution that was done by the shoulder-knot where that fashion prevailed, or to reckon up all the virgins that have fallen a sacrifice to a pair of fringed gloves. A sincere heart has not made half so many conquests as an open wa[i]stcoat . . .”

YESSS. Also, if you don’t know, dandies and fops loved snuff-boxes and writers loved giving them shit about it. Speaking of fops, here’s fop-rocker/New-Waver Adam Ant, singing about the life of a dandy highwayman while being incredibly swoon-worthy:

Erotic snuff boxes (usually they looked normal on the outside (and bigger on the inside?)) were also produced, though they were more popular in the 19th century, when women left the dining room after eating so the men could piss and smoke. Below is one from France (click to enlarge), courtesy of Tobacco Collection, where you can view more erotic snuff boxes mostly from the 19th century.

Obscene Snuff Box

Here is another from France (ca. 1820), courtesy of Antiquorum, which euphemistically describes the image on the left as “a young couple relaxing in a garden” (click to enhuge):

Obscene snuff box

There are so many juicy selections in Erin Mackie’s collection of Tatler and Spectator issues, The Commerce of Everyday Life (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1998); they’re an easy way to lose a few hours. Two of my favorite selections are Addison on the Dissection of a Beau’s Brain¬† and a Coquette’s Heart, and those only takes a few minutes to read (Spectator issues 275 and 281, p. 528-34 in Mackie).

Happy Wednesday!

Adam Ant (image from http://www.clubzone.com/events/509040/san-diego/4th-and-b/adam-ant)

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