Continuing the theme of toothsome tootsies on toothpick holders, I am reintroducing Ms. #454, who appeared earlier on my blog. She is certainly from this same series of sensual sylphs in blonde topknots, garbed in rather revealing pale yellow gowns and incongruous black stockings and high heels. Looking somewhat wistful, she sits on the edge of a basket of the same green precolored bisque as found in the containers attached to her two preceding sisters, but her holder lacks the raised white jasperware designs. Like her sisters, she is of fine bisque and beautifully modeled. Marked only with a freehand "6" on the bottom, this toothpick or match holder is 6.75 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.