Ms. #389 seeks to demonstrate that she has brains as well as beauty, although her rather revealing outfit does not exactly shout, "Love me for my mind!" This 5 inch tall bisque figurine once must have had a green jasperware container of some sort attached to the right side, but now there are only two bits of green bisque remaining. Of sharp bisque, with excellent modeling and decoration, this studious siren is incised “5513’ between the back legs of her chair.
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.