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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Ms. #534 appears to be preparing for a very, very happy New Year's celebration, judging from the magnum of champagne she holds in her left hand.  Despite her bottle of bubbly and a revealing robe that emphasizes her considerable cleavage and exposes a black-stockinged leg, her expression appears rather shy and demure.  Maybe she is just deep in thought, trying to remember where she left her bottle opener.  Of excellent sharp bisque and detailed modeling, she is 6.75 inches tall  and is incised "1101."  Attached behind her is a green urn adorned with a jasperware grapevine around the rim.  She is part of a series of lovely ladies in rather revealing outfits posed by a small jasperware container for matches or toothpicks.  Although she and her sisters are sometimes attributed to Schafer and Vater, who also made extensive use of jasperware and loved long-legged lasses in black stockings, to me the modeling, especially of the hands and faces, does not look like Schafer's work.  Next week I will picture more pretty ladies from this series. 

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