It’s rather a pity that Apoux’s claim to fame lies almost entirely with his Alphabet pornographique, published some time around 1880, even though it is one of the best of many attempts at the theme. Printed in black and white, each set was hand-coloured as required, which means that no two of the few surviving alphabets are quite the same.

Irony and satire abound in the alphabet, as Apoux shows priests, monks, dancers, soldiers and milkmaids cavorting in the loops and lines of the letters.