Regency sexting
July 10, 2019 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Vaguely remembered: topless self portrait hidden inside a locket

I remember reading, probably about 5 years ago, no more than 10, an article about a piece of antique jewelry (from the Regency or Edwardian era, I believe, definitely western Europe and probably UK). A researcher had discovered a false panel in it that revealed a short love letter and a small, beautifully detailed painting of a woman's breasts. Love letter was definitely sexual, but retrained, in nature. Her face was not visible.

Further research was able to identify who it was to and from; the locket (and message and painting) was a gift from a woman to a man who she was love with but couldn't marry for various, likely class-related reasons. It struck me as so sad and yearning, yet sexy and weirdly modern at the same time. It may have been part of several paintings or artistic gifts (not sexual in nature) that the woman gave to the man.

I've tried googling all sorts of phrases and have had no luck. Do you remember what I'm talking about?
posted by Ideal Impulse to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
"restrained" not "retrained"
posted by Ideal Impulse at 7:48 PM on July 10

I’m not sure which article you read, but the artist sounds like Sarah Goodridge.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:19 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]

That was the clue I needed! Thank you!

(Thinking it was in a piece of jewelry really threw off my searching)
posted by Ideal Impulse at 8:43 PM on July 10

Wow. I had never heard of this artist or this picture. What an entrancing Wikipedia entry.
posted by apricot at 11:08 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]

Thanks for asking this question. That's a really interesting story I've never heard.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:00 PM on July 13

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