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20th September 2017 for Immediate Release


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While most of us are all too familiar with the horrors of the black slave trade, the white slave trade, which existed along the Barbary Coast, is a story largely untold.


Evidence of this trade surfaced as Art Auction house, Fine Art Bourse F.A.B discovered a rare erotic cigarette case with a secret painted image of a nude white woman being sold at a market place auction by a Berber trader.


On Monday September 25th, 2017, new online auction house, Fine Art Bourse will hold it’s first live auction, a sale of Erotic, Fetish, and Queer Art & Objects. One of the lots for sale, titled: the Slave Market after Gerôme (1824 – 1904), features a beautiful young white girl shyly, stripped of her clothing whilst being offered for sale at an Arab slave market.


The image reveals a fair-skinned, innocent maiden with a subtle, almost resigned look of distress. The pose of her body,bejeweled headpiece, and gold earring, suggesting a life confined to a harem, a cauldron of simmering sexuality.


The Barbary Coast, as it was known, lay along the shores of North Africa, and predominantly included the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. The name was derived from the Berbers who inhabited the region, and Barbary corsairs (pirates) roamed the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with impunity, to the point where at their peak, in the 17thcentury, many Mediterranean coastal villages in Spain, France and Italy were totally abandoned. Race, religion or colour was of no relevance.


“What comes as a surprise is that many raids by these corsairs took place in Northern Europe, including coastal villages in Devon and Cornwall, England, as well as in Ireland, Scandinavia and as far north as Iceland,” says Tim Goodman, Founder of F.A.B. “We were shocked to find that over a million white Europeans were taken into slavery during the period of 1530 to 1780.”


One particular incident of note in 1631 saw virtually all inhabitants of the Irish village of Baltimore captured and taken into slavery. While the men would often become galley slaves, leading a pitiful and short life, women, unsurprisingly, were sold predominantly for sex.


Pashas, or tribal leaders, would have first rights to captured slaves and where women were concerned; many were added to their personal harem, their lives disappearing into oblivion. Additionally, some women became harem attendants, a position they would hold until freed through the payment of a ransom. While men were seen as expendable, women were seen more as a commodity through which to raise money. It was the role of Christian religious intermediaries to negotiate their safe return through the payment of the ransoms demanded.


“These scenes are very much a depiction of real life, which, if anything, heightens their erotic nature,” says Goodman.“North African Pirates ruthlessly raided the coasts of Western Europe in search of their next victims, ‘white gold’ as it wascommonly known, earning them a handsome bounty.


It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that the Nations of Great Britain and Western Europe came together with the United States to fight and win two wars against the Barbary Pirates.


The Erotic, Fetish and Queer Art & Objects auction will take place on September 25th, 2017 at 6pm GMT and includes 80 lots. Among the lots, a collection of 30 novelty cigarette cases from the late 19th century, featuring erotic scenes hidden away in secret compartments.


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The Slave Market after Gérôme

A Rare Continental heavy sterling silver cigarette case, The Slave Market after Gérôme, circa 1890, the enamel painted secret compartment depicting a young white European girl with raised arms to hide her face whilst she is offered to bidders at a middle eastern slave market by an Arab trader.

Hallmarked, with maker’s mark, “M&C”, “925”, a triangle and “M”, parcel gilt interior

9 x 8 x 1.5cms


Private Collection, India, c. 1920s

By decent, private collection Australia

LOCATION: Australia

5% Buyer’s Premium; + US$100 Lot Buyer Fee; Free delivery worldwide




For more information please contact Bendigo Communications on 00 44 07970563958 or email info@bendigopr.co.uk




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