Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer
Bondage Ewer

This extraordinary beer tankard seems to be designed for the erotic titillation of male consumers, who might reasonably be attracted by the seemingly unconscious maiden whose dangling naked body, back arched, forms a handle connecting the hinged cover to the vessel. The woman’s pink-tinged pale flesh contrasts with the robust, somewhat phallic vessel, and its rugged matte brown glaze. More compelling still is the manner in which the helpless young woman is bound tightly to the cover by a trompe l’oeil pewter sash. The tightly knotted “cloth” is quite pointedly the means of constraining her, and indeed accounts for her contorted posture. One need only picture the prospective drinker firmly grasping the handle in anticipation of quenching his thirst to imagine the sadomasochistic fantasies associated with male revelry during the fin-de-siècle. Such themes were common in late nineteenth century French and Belgian Decadent art, as evidenced by the crucified prostitute, similarly restrained, in Felicien Rop’s 1878 gouache study The Temptation of St. Anthony. One of only three known models, Wagner’s Bondage Pitcher is made of grès rouge des Vosges, the same clay used by Rupert Carabin for his stoneware figurines. The two artists probably designed these risqué objects for the Galerie Lafitte, in the Montmartre pleasure district.

-Description by Claire CassThis extraordinary beer tankard seems to be designed for the erotic titillation of male consumers, who might reasonably be attracted by the seemingly unconscious maiden whose dangling naked body, back arched, forms a handle connecting the hinged cover to the vessel. The woman’s pink-tinged pale flesh contrasts with the robust, somewhat phallic vessel, and its rugged matte brown glaze. More compelling still is the manner in which the helpless young woman is bound tightly to the cover by a trompe l’oeil pewter sash. The tightly knotted “cloth” is quite pointedly the means of constraining her, and indeed accounts for her contorted posture. One need only picture the prospective drinker firmly grasping the handle in anticipation of quenching his thirst to imagine the sadomasochistic fantasies associated with male revelry during the fin-de-siècle. Such themes were common in late nineteenth century French and Belgian Decadent art, as evidenced by the crucified prostitute, similarly restrained, in Felicien Rop’s 1878 gouache study The Temptation of St. Anthony. One of only three known models, Wagner’s Bondage Pitcher is made of grès rouge des Vosges, the same clay used by Rupert Carabin for his stoneware figurines. The two artists probably designed these risqué objects for the Galerie Lafitte, in the Montmartre pleasure district.

-Description by Claire Cass

About Géo Wagner