Tapping on her tambourine, Ms. #513 is a sultry sultana from William Goebel's series of harem ladies. She has lost her original costume of silk and brocade, but with a body like this, she certainly doesn't need clothing to win over her pasha's heart! I have sort of a soft spot for Goebel's gals. Although their bisque and modeling is often of the same high quality as those lovely ladies produced by Galluba and Hofmann and A.W. Fr. Kister, their faces lack the ethereal loveliness of Galluba or the striking beauty of Kister. If Galluba, Kister, and Goebel were sisters, Goebel would be the one described as "but she has a great personality." That said, this tempting tambourinist does have an especially pretty face. Any bathing belle doing something other than lounging about and looking lovely is scarce and desirable, and one as big and beautiful as this undulating odalisque even more so. She is 5.5 inches long and is incised under her replaced mohair wig "1745" and "C."
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.