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.
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.