Beware, gents: A pair of Mantraps! 1780s

Just wanted to share these two lovely prints, depicting a couple of women of dubious morals, or ‘MANTRAPS’ as the artists have it.  The images are obviously meant to titillate, but the warning is clear, gentlemen: giving into such a temptation could be your ruin!

The first dates to 1780 and shows a fashionable (and rather coy looking) prostitute reclining on an elaborately embroidered sofa. Behind her is a set of the week’s calling cards, perhaps a reminder of which gentleman will be visiting on each day.

mantrap full


The second is a ‘Military Man-trap’ of 1788, who also brazenly gazes straight out at the spectator. She is clearly quite at home in the military encampment  – perhaps she has followed a particular beau out on campaign, or perhaps she entertains a different lover in her tent each night. Either way, she is quite triumphant about the letter she has just been reading.



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