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Camille Bombois, Baigneuses Surprises (Surprised Bathers)(Sotheby’s)
PASSION DANGEREUSE

Sotheby’s is holding its first-ever erotic art auction in honor of Valentine’s Day

By Selina Cheng

Romantic love has long inspired artists, writers and musicians, and so has its consummation. In honor of Valentine’s Day, auction house Sotheby’s London is putting together its first-ever sale of erotic art. Titled “Erotic: Passion & Desire,” the auction is now showing 107 sexy lots from antiquity to modern days, which open for bidding on Feb. 16.

Artworks include European paintings and sculptures of nude baigneuses, Picasso’s sketches of a woman caressing herself, graphic Chinese scrolls and a collection of Japanese shunga (of course). And then there are the really titillating objects, such as a table with phalluses for legs (dedicated to Catherine the Great), and an x-rated x-ray image.

A painted plywood table, after that supposedly delivered to Catherine the Great.
Pablo Picasso, Nu couché, 1972.
Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem and studio. Jupiter disguised as Diana seducing the nymph Callisto.
Pop pin-up girls by Mel Ramos, Tomato Catsup, A.C. Annie; Lola Cola and Tobacco Red.
Jacques Loysel, La Grande Névrose, white marble, circa 1896.
Ettore Sottsass, ‘Shiva’ Vase, designed 1973.
Egon Schiele, Akt (Nude), 1917.
Clive Barker, Girl and her Pussy.
Camille Bombois, Baigneuses Surprises (Surprised Bathers).
French bed, 19th century.
North Indian painting, probably Bilaspur, circa 1700-40.
A couple making acrobatic love on a lake, Mewar, North India, 18th century.
German snuff boxes from the mid-18th century.

All images courtesy of Sotheby’s.