In Victorian and Edwardian England, the upper classes made a lifestyle of mistresses, adultery, and free sexual behavior. The English nation, however, otherwise promoted domesticity, fidelity in marriage, and chastity. Nude female figurines were not acceptable. Americans picked up some of these traits. These are American bookends, circa 1916; a nude man and a nude woman. The woman appears to shield her face in embarrassment. Their nudity is not sexually suggestive. The bookends tell us that by their title: Classic Art, cast in the metal.
The nudity is attributed to classic Grecian sculpture and is, therefore, quite innocent. These bookends tell us that Victorian prudery was still fashionable in the United States in the early twentieth century. Nudity was admirable, but only when divorced from sexual connotation.