Victorian Era Vibrator Creates Buzz At Irish Auction

An antique vibrator from the Victorian era has created a buzz at an auction in Ireland. The auction house describes lot 475 as an “Antique Carved Ivory Ladies Companion in Scarlet Lined Leather Upholstered Carry Box with Inset Bevelled Glass” is estimated at 500-800 British Pounds or 640-$1,020.

The auction house, which specializes in estate sales, lists interesting items online from their upcoming live auctions. Auctioneer Damien Matthews told the Irish Times. “It is a beautiful piece, a great rarity. I’ve been at this 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. You do get the Victorian era massagers every so often that come up for auction, but nothing like this.”

“You’ve got to remember in Victorian times, the amount of people that could afford to indulge or create something like this was tiny. Ninety-nine percent of the country were trying to get by, so there were perhaps 400 or 500 families in the country with those kind of means. It’s not just a piece of erotica – it’s a work of art, and a fascinating piece of social history,” he said.

In the (sexually uptight) Victorian era, when a woman complained of menstrual cramps or not being able to have an orgasm, she was given a “hysterical paroxysm” by a doctor, which is what they called orgasms back then.

The auctioneer noted the history of the item with “A family member found it in a drawer, and he put it in the auction for fun really. We believe the ivory dates back to the 1840’s. This fellow, the original owner, was in India in the 1840’s, where he shot himself an elephant, and brought the tusk home.” (Hunting for ivory is now illegal.) The owner fought in the Boxer Rebellion in China (1899-1901) where it is thought he had it carved.

“The Chinese were famous for carving ivory, and the quality of carving is so good, I think that is where he would have had it done. He would not have known that he was coming home, and would have wanted his wife to have this,” Matthews speculated.

“This was a very enlightened family for the time, Matthews said, “and this would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife. You can see that because the level of detail is incredible, down to the folds of the skin. There’s a heart carved at the base of it, where her finger would have been, and a receptacle in which she could keep a lock of his hair.”

Although the sex toy was carved in China, the box was made in Ireland. “The leather box is Irish,” says Matthews. “She would have got the box carved for it – there’s a stamp on the lock with the name of an Irish locksmith.”

The lady of the house lived in a “historic Georgian country house on 17.5 acres complete with fine cut-limestone out buildings and lofted stable yard, adjoining two acre walled garden, hard tennis court and good river frontage of over 450 meters. Set amongst picturesque rolling Meath countryside this house is less than one hour from Dublin.”

Photo: Matthews Auction Rooms

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Anka Radakovich is a legendary Sex Columnist, Certified Sexologist, Sex Educator, Screenwriter, and Author of the new book THE WILD GIRLS CLUB, PART 2, Tales from New York to Hollywood. http://www.amazon.com/The-Wild-Girls-Club-Part/dp/0990462129. THE WILD GIRLS CLUB, Part 2 is her third book. Her first two books The Wild Girls Club; Tales from below the Belt, and Sexplorations; Journeys to the Erogenous Frontier were both published by Crown/Random House. She was the Sex Columnist for DETAILS Magazine for 9 years and is currently a Sex Columnist for BRITISH GQ. Her writing has appeared in dozens of magazines including Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Men's Journal, Seventeen, Glamour, and Maxim. She has appeared on numerous television shows including 8 appearances with Conan O’Brien. She was a Jeopardy question under the category “Men’s Mags.” As a Sex Educator and Sexologist, she is a college lecturer at Universities throughout the country who offers her unique brand of sex education. She lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @ankarad.

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