As the Victorian era passed into the Edwardian and Roaring Twenties, a market developed for bisque and china bawdy novelties and figurines of women in revealing outfits. Although now most of these figurines seem more coy and cute than ribald and risque, in their time they symbolized the casting off of the perceived restraints of the Victorian era.
These little lovelies included bathing beauties, who came clad in swimsuits of real lace or in stylish painted beach wear, as well as mermaids, harem ladies, and nudies, who were meant to wear nothing more than an engaging smile. Also produced were flippers, innocent appearing figurines who reveal a bawdy secret when flipped over, and squirters, figurines that were meant to squirt water out of an appropriate orifice.
Most were manufactured in Germany from the late 1800s through the 1930s, often showing remarkable artistry and imagination, with Japan entering the market during World War I.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Ms. #361 is one of the scarcer, and probably one of the most most suggestive, poses by the the German firm of Galluba and Hofmann. She has her original mohair wig and is 4.5 inches long. Of excellent bisque and modeling, she is incised "406" followed by a cursive “H” on inside of her left thigh. There is a spot of slag on her right hip and another on her side. Such minor factory flaws would have been hidden by her silk net and ribbon bathing suit, now long lost to the years, and attest to her age and authenticity.