In 18th century Venice, the ultimate tool of seduction for women was a plain mask covered in black velvet. She held it in place with her teeth that bit down on a button, thus making her mute, and her silence deepened the mystery of who she was and what lay behind the mask.
Presently women's cosmetics is a multi-billion dollar industry so the thought of covering your face may appear to fly in the face of logic if you wanted to attract men. Venetian women though used a mask that did exactly that, exposing their upper bodies including tinging their nipples with red carmine so that they would be more visible behind a thin, gauzy fabric that covered them. The seduction was in what was not seen.
These plain black masks were called moretta muta masks. They were dark and since the lady was holding it in place by biting down on a button on the inside, she was incapable of speaking, unless she removed it and the chase was over.
The challenge for the man was to convince her to discard her anonymity, and not only see her face but hear her voice. In truth he did not know what lay behind the mask so there also lay the allure of an additional risk that the final disclosure would end in disappointment.
The face was considered the window to the soul, but what use was a beautiful body, if there was not a passionate temperament to go with it?
During the time when masks were permitted in Venice the moretta mask was work on a daily basis up to 6 months out of the year if the lady so desired it.
Source - Camacana
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