Postcard Image

Postcard Image
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.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bathing Beauty of the Day: Day 31

Ms. #396 shows how an original assembly can take a common ordinary pose and make it something scarce and extraordinary.  The 4 inch long reclining bisque bathing beauty is a pretty, but rather prosaic, piece from Galluba and Hoffman.  What makes her special is her original 4.5 inch long bisque pin dish base.  She is fastened by wooden peg that fits into her lower back to the oval dish, which is molded and decorated to resemble gentle blue waves by a stretch of sandy beach.  The little bathing belle retains her original dark brown mohair wig, but has been redressed in a black net bathing suit and head scarf.  She is incised “407,” followed by a cursive “g” on her upper back  and the bottom of the dish is incised “9589” and stamped in maroon with Galluba and Hofmann shield mark.

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