Given the BDSM themes for which Topfer is known, and especially when viewed small as presented here, you might be forgiven for assuming you are looking at some sort of en mass bondage device capturing the heads and hands of eight young women. And, indeed, you might be right; without access (both physical and linguistic) to the French-language adult novel I suspect this originally illustrated, I can’t say.
But if you click the image for a larger view at Kinky Delight, doubt is cast. First of all, the devices do appear to be vintage peep-show boxes of some sort, without obvious restraints; although why the girls’ hands would be going inside the curtains with their heads is not clear, for viewing purposes alone. And then there’s the caption, which I lack the wit to translate properly. It reads: “Le spectacle était certainement unique de ces huit corps de jeunes filles libérés de tout voile.” Google Translate mangles that badly, losing an important word that apparently costs us the sense of the business: “The show was certainly one of the eight bodies of young women freed from any sailing.” Perhaps when one of my French-literate readers tells us what these young women were truly freed from (I’d guess their apparel, were it not so obvious as to make the caption rather pointless), we’ll have a better sense of what’s going on here.