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, March 13, 2013

Bathing Beauty of the Week


Ms. #536 is a "modedamen mit gefäß" (fashion lady with container) according to the catalogue of Hertwig and Company of Germany.  She is part of a series of elegant Edwardian ladies "mit paperhüten und mit tuchschur bemalt" (with paper hats and painted flocking), striking insouciant poses.  Of excellent bisque  and modeling, she is molded in sharp base relief against a rectangular vase.  Her form-fitting and daringly decollete top is covered in fine green flocking, giving it the look and feel of cloth.  She wears the remains of her original mohair wig adorned with a  replaced blue crepe paper hat.  Incised "1086" on back lower edge of the vase, she is 5.5 inches tall.

 Here she is as pictured in the Hertwig catalogue.  Notice that the catalogue number matches the incised number on the figurine.

No comments:

Post a Comment