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, December 12, 2011
This gorgeous dancing girl is by my favorite maker, A.W. Fr. Kister. She is 8 inches tall and is of the superb bisque and workmanship typical of Kister.
Her modeling is magnificent, from her graceful hands to her long lithe legs clad in molded white stockings. She wears a replacement mohair wig and I added the frilled tiny pink and blue tutu (which matches her shoes), transforming her into an exquisite entertainer on stage at some elegant carbaret or nightclub. I wonder how she was originally dressed!
Underneath the base she is incised with the crosshatched "S" mark of A.W. Fr. Kister and "3" over "12040."