Ms. #527, who is naked as a jaybird, poses with her fine feathered friend by a gilt-edged powder dish. Although unmarked, she certainly resembles half dolls by William Goebel featuring a beauty and her exotic bird. Made of excellent china, this delightful dish is 4.5 inches high.
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.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Ms. #526 gets her ass in gear, quite literally, as she prepares to journey to the sunny shore. Of excellent china and nicely modeled and decorated, this unusual 5 inch tall figurine served as a souvenir, as painted in dark blue on the donkey's flank is "Blonville s/Mer." Blonville sur Mer is a coastal town in the Normandy region of France, one of the many French seaside resorts long popular with tourists seeking sandy beaches and bright sunshine.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
As dainty and delicate as the posies she is picking, Ms. #523 is an exceptional (and exceptionally scarce) bathing belle by William Goebel. Her original blonde mohair wig in done in the typical Goebel beehive style, with the hank of mohair wrapped around the bald pate and kept in place by two tiny pins, pushed through a curl at each cheek. The molded pink pumps with contrasting yellow trim are also a standard style for Goebel. Of the finest bisque and workmanship, she is 4 inches and has no visible marks.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Last week, Ms. #521 was the Bathing Beauty of the Week. I noted that she was marked in blue with "Germany" and the cross-hatched "S" of A.W. Fr. Kister, but that Porzellanmanufaktur Scheibe-Alsbach, the successor of Kister, still uses the cross-hatched "S" mark, stamped in blue, which could date the piece anywhere from 1905 into the 1990s. Looking through my reference books, I came across a picture of a page from an early Kister catalogue, and there was Ms. #521 and her playful pup.
This lissome lass clad in a pale green swimsuit, with a matching hat and slippers, is a sister of the preceding Kister. Her complexion is matte bisque, while her bathing costume and towel are glazed china. She is 4 inches tall and 3 inches high.
Underneath, she carries the same blue cross-hatched "S" and "Germany," as well as an incised "18."
Ms. #532 also appears on the catalogue page. She is does not carry the blue marks, but is incised underneath "L102," which matches the catalogue number. She was also offered with either a base or as a free figurine. This china charmer is 3.5 inches long.