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, July 3, 2013
This fantastic fashion lady by Galluba and Hofmann is as big as she is beautiful. A little later in the Edwardian period, she has sheer tinted stockings instead of textured stockings, slim heeled pumps in place of low bootines, and she lacks the ribbed undergarments found on some of her earlier sisters. Although still shapely, she is slimmer, without the exaggerated curves typical of the earlier fashion ladies. Her face is especially exquisite with large blue-grey eyes and parted lips, her graceful gestures display her delicate and detailed hands, and a molded necklace encircles her slender throat. Of the finest bisque and modeling, she is 10.5 inches tall, with no visible marks. She has been redressed and her mohair wig is a replacement. Under her shirt is an old auction label from Sotherby's York Avenues Galleries label (she was Lot #376), but there is no date.