If this lovely lady lying on her chaise lounge looks familiar, it is because she is the super-sized version of the powder box appearing on page 150 of my book, Bawdy Bisques and Naughty Novelties: German Bathing Beauties and Their Risqué Kin. This pretty power box is 7 inches long and 6.5 inch high, and because of her large size, is much more detailed than the version in my book, which is only 4.75 inches long. In the smaller box, the lady was left stark white, while in this deluxe model, she has a flawless complexion and beautifully painted features. She holds a small red object in her hand. Perhaps it is a powder puff and she is about to dip it into the box under her, or perhaps it is a small apple for this more modern Eve. The box is incised underneath “3265.” My smaller version is stamped "Bavaria" and I attribute both boxes to William Goebel.
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.