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, May 21, 2012

Where is the Fake?

This beautiful bisque blonde sits up in her bed, pulling away the front of her nightgown as she appears to search for some object among her bountiful bosoms.  Along the edge of her blanket is the incised caption, "Where is the flea?"

Turn her over and the tiny frolicsome flea is seen settled on her bare left buttock.  This is a very scarce naughty "flipper" by Schafer and Vater.  Note her graceful arms and delicate fingers, very susceptible to breakage in an item that is meant to picked up and turned over. Not only is this piece hard to find, it is even harder to find it in good condition.

However, suddenly there has been a number of these scarce flippers turning up on eBay, all being sold as old and some even advertised as by Schafer.  Well, these pieces are neither old or by Schafer.  They are modern reproductions by Mundial Company of Belgium (HR2001 under "Baigneuses").  Here is one example.

The quality is quite good, but it does not match the sharp bisque and fine details of the original.  The hands are heavy and clumsy, the facial painting lacks the detail of the original, the modeling is blurred, and the colors are harsher.  However, unless you are familiar with the authentic antique or have the opportunity to see the original and copy side by side, you could be mislead into thinking this reproduction is the scarce real deal.  Like all Mundial pieces, it does not carry the company's mark or any indication this is a new copy.

The  bottom view. . . . 

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