This French version of John Cleland’s “Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” was first published in 1749. This edition features 51 painted watercolors and 10 engraved plates.

An item in Bloomsbury Auctions’ upcoming June 23 books and manuscripts sale in New York looks innocent enough. Estimated at $4,000-$6,000 and printed in Paris in 1887, it comes encased in a discreet cardboard box covered in handmade marbled paper in subtle tones of mauve, tan and pale blue. A bit too innocent, even. Pull out the volume inside and you get a hint of the titillating content within. The brown leather cover is embossed in gold, with what is known as a “priapic” design: The four corners of the front cover each display a penis and scrotum with wings attached, encircled by a golden oval encased in a delicate, labial–or is it floral?–decoration. – From Forbes