Misses #486 and #487 are sisters, still clad in their similar, but not identical, original silk dresses. Big sister is 5.5 inches high, while her bookish little sister is 4.75 inches tall. They both also have their original mohair wigs. While the outfits are unfortunately frail and frayed, they still show how the maker, Galluba and Hofmann, dressed its fashionable ladies in the elegant gowns of real silk and lace. Underneath the tattered finery are molded undergarments, and at one point this pretty pair must have been mounted on a bisque bases, or perhaps boxes or pincushions. The larger lady is marked with a "400" number on the back of her supporting pedestal.
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.