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 20, 2013

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Her chiton swirling around her,  Ms. #537 appears to be playing her tambourine with wild abandon.  Perhaps she is supposed to be a maenad, a female follower of the Greek god, Dionysus, who often danced around their deity in a frenzied rapture.  By Schafer and Vater, this beautiful bisque bacchae has a rather cheeky secret. . . .

for underneath are her voluptuous bare buttocks, framed with a laurel wreath.  In ancient Greece, athletes and poets were crowned with laurel wreaths as awards for their accomplishments.  One wonders just what this young lady's talents were to warrant a wreath around her nether regions. Of excellent sharp bisque typical of Schafer, this unusual flipper is 4.5 inches wide and 3.25 inches tall, and is incised "5838" underneath.

A friend said that this callipygian cutie is "resting on her laurels."  Wish I had thought of that one!

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