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.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Pretty Poser

Striking a pose, while her pussycat takes repose, this beauteous belle cast in pure white bisque is a bit of a mystery.  She is stamped underneath in graceful cursive "Perlena," but I have yet to find any maker of that name.  My Internet searches have turned up a number of finely made figurines both in porcelain and bisque with this mark, but no manufacturer.  I suspect that Perlena may have been the name of a distributor of fancy goods or a high-end gift shop.  But if her origins are hidden, her beauty is openly displayed.  She is superbly sculpted from her elaborately coifed hair to her slim feet in dainty heels pumps.   This curvaceous coquette with her kitten companion is 6.5 inches tall.

One might glance at her shoes and headband and think she portrays a flirtatious flapper of the 1920s, but I believe her dress, what there is of it, dates from the 1910s era.  The complex coiled chignon, held in place by ribbons or a headband, is the epitome of early Edwardian chic.

And, as this 1905 shoe advertisement shows, slender heeled pumps with a single strap were already gracing fashionable feet.

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